While people revel in the loud bangs and crackles of bonfire season, some 45 per cent of dogs show signs of fear when they hear fireworks, says the RSPCA. And micro-chipping database Petlog suggests as much as a 40 per cent increase in the number of calls reporting pets as either missing by pet owners, or found by vets. Here's how to keep them calm and safe:
- If possible, feed and walk your dogs during daylight hours when the risk of firework noise is far lower
- Keep pets indoors as soon as the outdoor light starts to fade
- Close the curtains and put on music to mask the sound of the fireworks
- If hosting a fireworks party at home, keep your pets in a room which is as far away from the noise as possible during the display, or perhaps, take them to a pet sitter
- If your pet is distressed don’t be tempted to constantly cuddle or comfort them, this could be seen as rewarding their fearful behaviour
- Try to play with them as a distraction technique: buy a new toy or pet treats in advance of bonfire night
- Reward them with pet treats when they settle down
- Make sure your pet is microchipped just in case they escape.
Thanks to Sainsbury's Pet Insurance for sharing these tips. Sainsbury's is offering 12 months for the price of nine cover to new customers who buy online here.