Natasha Harvey

Keep your pet calm this Firework Season!


1. To help your dog feel safe this year a little calm reassurance from you, should they seek it, will go a long way. Don’t fuss though, as this can make their behaviour worse. Act and behave as you normally would and most importantly remain calm as your pet will look to you for a response to the noise. Never ignore your dog if they seek comfort and give them treats when they are behaving calmly, any toys they have an attachment to will also provide some reassurance.

2. Find out when the displays are going ahead in your local area, and ask your neighbours if they are holding any firework-themed gatherings so that you can prepare. Ideally, feed and walk your dog before dusk, a while before any fireworks happen as once they start anxiety might get the better of your pet and they could become too anxious to eat.

3. Provide your pet with a little “den” they can retreat to if it all gets a bit much. This could simply be a table or a chair, with a sheet placed over it. Line the den with their favourite toys, treats and your unwashed clothes so that the familiar smell helps them feel safe. Put the radio or TV on to further reassure your animal that all is normal in their surroundings. Don’t shout at your dog for behaving erratic, this will make their behaviour worse. If they want to hide away let them do so without fussing, they’re just finding safety.

4. Keep animals inside when fireworks night is in full swing, even if they don’t act up; panting and pacing are signs of anxiety. Draw your curtains and shut your windows and doors. Block cat flaps /doggy doors and anything else that provides an escape route for your pet. Just in case, make sure they’re wearing a collar with an ID tag and that they’re micro chipped with their details up to date. Many animals are taken into shelters having ran away from home, you want to make your chances of being reunited should this happen as high as possible.