Please take time before the fireworks begin to check your fences to ensure there are no holes or breaks. If possible, bring your dogs inside before the fireworks get started. If you take your pet to a fireworks display, please hold them close until it is over.
Here are a few other tips for your pets and fireworks:
Check that your pets' ID tags and microchip information are current. If your pet does go running off during fireworks events, it's much easier to be able to identify the owners if all the information is up to date.
Prepare the house. The house becomes your pets' safety zone, so it's important to prepare it properly.
- Keep some lights on. Keeping a light on will calm your pet and make him feel more secure, rather than being scared in a dark room.
- Dampen the noise. Close the curtains in the room and, if your animal is a caged one, cover up the cage in a thick blanket, but make sure it is breathable so your animal doesn't suffocate. This will also help to stop the flashes of light affecting your pet.
- Plan to use familiar sounds to drown out the noise of the fireworks. Music from a stereo or turning on the TV are likely familiar sounds that can sooth your pet. Just make sure not to play these sounds ridiculously loud as they can become bothersome themselves.
Prepare the room.
- Select a suitable room where you will contain the pets for the duration of the fireworks. An inner room that is least impacted by the noise is ideal. It should be a room that you can close off to prevent your pet from running about the house and injuring itself, wrecking furniture, etc. If you have more than one pet, be sure they don't mind being confined in the same room, or select several rooms for different pets. For example, dogs and cats will usually appreciate being kept separate.
- Make the room cozy. Put down familiar, clean bedding somewhere pleasant such as under a table, on or behind a chair, etc. Add some familiar chew toys, scratch pads, balls, etc., to keep your pets amused and distracted.
- Ensure that the room temperature is pleasant; warm if it's cold weather, or cool if it's hot weather.
- Consider whether sound might be soothing. If your pet is used to music, turn some on at normal volume. Also, the sound of rainwater is very soothing to pets.
- Add a litter tray for cats.
- Remove any sharp items from the room in case your pet starts jumping or running around.
Confine your pet.
- Half an hour to an hour before the fireworks start, place your pet into the chosen room. If you're concerned about not being able to locate your pet (for example, cats aren't always easy to find), consider finding your pet several hours earlier. Mealtime is a good time to round up every pet, provided it falls before the fireworks are set off.
- If your dog needs a walk, be sure to walk her before confining her.
- Even if your pet is caged, place it into the secure and comfortable room you've selected.
- If your pet is a horse or other farm animal, make sure it has clean bedding and is inside the stable or barn.
Keep an eye on your pet, and if possible, stay with her. Comfort her and talk to her. Be friendly but don't fuss over her too much; this can increase her anxiety if she picks up on yours and can reward and encourage fearful behavior. Allow your pet to hide somewhere in the room if wished. It's your pet's way of coping and dragging them out of a safe spot can increase their anxiety levels. Don't fuss over her too much.
Check on your pet after the fireworks.
- Reassure him and remove the protection (blankets, etc.) as long as you're sure that the loud fireworks are over. Let him have free run of the house to see how he behaves before considering letting him return outside (it might be best to wait until morning, if possible).
- For cats, signs of stress include running away, soiling the house, hiding away and refusing to eat.
- For dogs, signs of stress include barking a lot, running away, soiling the house, hiding and cowering, clinging to owners, whimpering, trembling and shaking, pacing and panting, and refusing to eat.
- If your pet is stressed, keep him indoors overnight. Keep a litter tray somewhere in the house, or walk a dog after the fireworks but don't let him off his harness and be sure to stay with him the whole time.