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Fireworks are always a big part of the November the 5th celebrations. But not only is bonfire night marked in this way but birthdays, weddings and anniversaries are, too. That's fine if you are a human, but not such fun if you are an animal.
For many animals these events are a source of stress and fear. If ignored, the problem tends to get worse over time and can expand to include fear of other loud noises, such as thunder, and even everyday noises such as a door slamming. In fact the weeks leading up to and beyond the 5th November and NewYear are a time to be cautious and do what you can to help your pets cope, the celebrations are not confined to one night only.
Pets show varied reactions to firework noise – they can withdraw into themselves and hide, soil in the house, and sometimes become destructive or harm themselves whilst trying to escape from the noise. A dog’s hearing is 10 times more sensitive than a human’s and therefore the loud, unpredictable bangs are cause for a very fearful, stressful reaction.
A cat's hearing is one of their most amazing abilities and they hear a much higher frequency than a human does, so fireworks can be a frightening and painful experience.
To help a dog you can give them a place where the animal feels in control, a quiet room, perhaps under a table or desk. Train your dog to associate the area with positive experiences eg. by leaving toys there but not imposing yourself at any time. Use a variety of toys and swap them regularly, putting them away when not in use so that your dog doesn't become bored with them. With time your dog can learn that this place is safe and enjoyable and he should have access to this spot at any time. So when fireworks happen it may choose this place because it feels safe and more able to cope. Make sure your dog or cat always has somewhere to hide if he or she feels the need and has access to this place at all times.
Make sure your cat has somewhere to hide if it wants to. This may be under some furniture or in a quiet corner and don’t try to tempt your cat out as this will cause it to become more stressed.
Small animals should not be forgotten. Hamsters, guinea Pigs, rabbits etc are just as likely to be frightened by the unusual noises. If your pets live outside, think about bringing them indoors, partly cover cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one area is well sound-proofed. Make sure that your pet is still able to look out through a small space if they feel they want to. Provide lots of extra bedding so your pet has something to burrow into.
Above all, take care of your animals.....
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