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Fireworks and trick-or-treaters: advice for pet owners

9 October 2017

It’s that time of autumn where we dress up in scary costumes and watch fireworks light up the night sky. Fun as this can be for families, every year countless dogs, cats and pets of all kinds are traumatised by the experience of Halloween and Bonfire Night.

Strangers dressed in frightening masks can be particularly alarming for dogs, and any animals can be distressed by loud bangs in close proximity. Some rabbits are so sensitive that the shock of exploding fireworks can cause severe stress which could be fatal.

At Pets Corner, we are committed to doing all we can to improve your pets’ welfare. Here, we’ve come up with some expert tips to help ensure a safe and stress-free season for you and your animals.

  1. Don’t let your dog come to the door with you when trick-or-treaters ring the bell. Keep them safely shut away until you’re sure there’s nothing to be frightened of.
  2. Close windows and pull curtains shut to block out flashing lights. Switch on the TV or radio at a moderate volume to help mask the noise of firecrackers or bangers.
  3. Plan ahead – take your dog on a long walk to ensure they’re not restless on Halloween or fireworks night. Try introducing a new toy or foodie treat to distract them if they seem unsettled.
  4. Pets which are kept outdoors such as rabbits and guinea pigs could be brought inside in their hutches. If this isn’t possible, put a blanket over their hutch (ensuring adequate ventilation) and check on them frequently. Give extra bedding so they can burrow down and feel safe.
  5. Make sure they are tagged. Unfortunately some animals will escape when spooked. If they are wearing ID tags or if they’re microchipped, you’re far more likely to be reunited. Dogs should by law be microchipped, but you can also microchip your cats, rabbits and some other pets.
  6. Consider using calming pheromones. Scientifically proven to reduce or prevent stress-related behaviour in cats and dogs, pheromones are widely trusted by behaviourists and veterinary experts. At Pets Corner we sell Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats. We also offer a range of other products, including natural herbal remedies such as Pet Remedy suitable for all animals, to help reduce anxiety for your pet during the Halloween and firework season.

Finally, remember that every pet is different, and while some won’t be at all troubled by the strange sights and sounds of this season, others will cower in fear. Similarly, remedies which work for one pet won’t work for another. Above all, try to stay calm and reassuring yourself, as most animals are highly tuned in to their owners’ moods.

For further advice, visit our Petopedia page, or call into your local store for advice from one of our friendly staff members.