The explosion of fireworks is a common sound at this time of year, but while the blasts might be nice for humans to look at, the loud bangs can terrify pets.
The sound can send dogs diving for cover or prompt them to start barking repeatedly out of fear, while cats are at risk of getting lost if they get scared by the explosions while out and about.
Research published by The Kennel Club last month revealed the number of dogs that go missing in the UK doubles during fireworks season, which typically falls around Bonfire Night on November 5.
Meanwhile, eight in 10 owners reported noticing a significant change in their pet’s behaviour during the same period, and a survey of 1,000 owners found one third of dogs are ‘terrified’ of the displays. Even if the bangs seem far away for pet owners, dogs can hear four times the distance of humans, meaning they might catch explosions that our ears miss.
In a bid to keep pets calm while people across the country send colourful rockets into the sky, it is a good idea to try and minimise the noise of the outside world by closing all windows and doors, and closing curtains to block out flashes from the fireworks.
Turning on the radio or television can help drown out the noise, with Classic FM attempting to help distract pets with its Pet Classics show, which will run from 6.00pm until 10.00pm tonight, November 6.
Adem Fehmi, a canine behaviourist from Rover, said she herself plays Classic FM loudly on fireworks night until she is ‘sure that the fireworks have finished’. ‘Play calming music to drown out or at least soften the sound of any fireworks that may be let off,’ she said, per The Independent.
Both the Kennel Club and the Blue Cross recommend helping cats and dogs feel safe by creating a den filled with their favourite toys and blankets to allow them to hide from the sound of fireworks, and avoid encouraging them to come out until they are ready.
It is recommended that cats are kept inside to avoid them running away while fireworks sound, with experts stressing the importance of having pets microchipped to avoid them becoming lost.
Fehmi advised keeping calm at the sound of fireworks exploding, as making a big fuss can ‘unintentionally signal to your dog that there is something to be afraid of’.
When it comes to smaller animals and outdoor pets, it is advised that cages and enclosures are partly covered and there is plenty of bedding around for the animals to burrow in.
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Topics: Animals, Fireworks, Pets