Advice to keep pets calm during ‘fireworks season’


We’re offering help and advice to ensure it’s not a time of year for pets to fear, with Halloween and Bonfire Night both on the horizon.

Whether it’s trick or treaters knocking on doors, Bonfire Night revellers letting off fireworks or further seasonal celebrations up until Christmas and the new year, autumn and winter can be an anxious time of year for pets.

However, our clinical director Kevin Wood says there are plenty of steps you can take to keep your pet calm and safe.

“The next few months can be really stressful for pets with Halloween and Bonfire Night so close together,” said Kevin.

“First there’s the Halloween visitors knocking on doors, which can unsettle pets, then it’s the loud bangs and noises of fireworks from the start of November and beyond.

“There are a lot of things pet owners can do to help, such as distracting animals with active play, the television or calm, soothing music.

“I’d also recommend owners of young dogs who are experiencing their first Halloween and Bonfire Night begin a programme of counter-conditioning with the first firework.

“However, my top recommendation for owners is to remain calm. While it may be tempting to comfort a spooked cat or dog, this can actually be counter-productive. Both ‘mollycoddling’ and punishing a frightened pet could reinforce negative behaviour. If owners appear to be unaffected, pets will follow this example.”

We’re offering a free nurse clinic for advice on keeping pets safe during fireworks season. For more information, call 01268 533 636 or search for ‘Cherrydown Vets’ on Facebook.

Top tips to ensure your pet stays safe during fireworks season:
• Always keep cats and dogs inside when fireworks are let off
• Close all windows and doors, draw curtains and seal up cat flaps
• Let your pet pace around, whine, mew and hide if they want to. Don’t try to coax them out – they are trying to find safety and should not be disturbed
• Hutches and cages should, if possible, be taken into a quiet room indoors or into a garage or shed
• Give your small pet extra bedding to burrow into so it feels safe