Caring for your Pets on Bonfire Night

Date: 31 Oct 2018

Beautiful night skies filled with dazzling colour, sparkling lights and exciting bangs are thrilling. But spare a thought for our cats and dogs. A staggering 61% of our pets are scared of fireworks* and demonstrate visible signs of stress. Every flash and bang can bring alarming surprise to them. Fireworks often go on for several weeks. If you are concerned that your pet is stressed at this time of year, please follow our advice to help your pet feel more safe and secure.

Top Ten Tips

  • Exercise your dog before it gets dark to reduce the risk of experiencing fireworks whilst you are out. Make sure your cat is safely indoors. Sunset is around 4:20pm in November.
  • Once home, close all windows, cat flaps, and doors and draw curtains to help drown out the sights and sounds of fireworks.
  • Put some background noise on, such as the TV or radio. Playing music with a strong beat can reduce your pet's worry over loud or unpredictable bangs.
  • Put your pet's bed in a safe place, or make a den to comfort them. A crate or simple cardboard box filled with soft bedding and a blanket over the top is an easy and quick solution. Remember that cats often feel more comfortable when they are up high.
  • Try to stay relaxed! Pets are very in-tune with our emotions, and if we appear anxious, this may make things worse for them.
  • If your pet does become distressed, do comfort and love them! Don't worry, it's not possible to reinforce the emotion of fear.
  • Distraction with a fun game or their favourite toy can help, or try offering treats or a chew.
  • Beaphar Calming Spot is designed to help alleviate stress and anxiety. It contains Valerian extract, a herbal supplement noted for its calming properties.
  • Stay at home with your pet on bonfire night. They will always feel more relaxed and secure with you around.
  • If you are concerned about the degree of anxiety your pet shows during bonfire season, speak to your vet about anxiety treatment.
  • For further information on caring for your pets on bonfire night please contact the OSCAR Helpline Team on 0800 195 8000, or alternatively please visit www.oscar.co.uk.

    *PDSA, Online survey 2013

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