Here in Vancouver we are fortunate to have many opportunities to attend wonderful firework displays. The Celebration of Light is one such event that entails multiple nights of firework shows. While this is great for us, our four legged friends are not always so enthused, as dogs and cats have acute hearing and are sensitive to loud bangs and whistles. Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe and happy during the firework season.
Leave Your Pet at Home
If you are going to watch the spectacle, it’s best to leave your pet at home. Many of us will be tempted to bring our pets along; but even if you are sure your pet won’t mind the loud bangs and crowds it might not be worth the risk. Many pets will get unexpectedly spooked from the loud noises or feel overwhelmed in the crowds and may run away; make sure your pet’s ID and microchip are current.
If you have a cat who goes outside, ensure they are safe inside before the fireworks begin.
Ensure your pet has a calm, quiet room to stay, where they feel safe if the fireworks are audible from your home.
Scared animals like to hide, make sure there is a safe spot for them to curl up in if they get spooked.
Keep lights on in your house, lights off might only exaggerate the brightness of the fireworks if you’re able to view them from your home.
Dampen the sound –keep windows and doors closed, shut the blinds to help reduce noise. Consider playing quiet music or having the TV on to help drown out the fireworks.
Be patient with your pet, it’s important you remain calm with their howling, running around or potentially destructive behavior. Becoming angry or stressed could only worsen their negative reactions.
Pet Calming Products
If you know your pet is affected by the loud bangs and whistles of fireworks, consider investing in some products to have on hand. There are many over the counter and prescribed medications and sprays that can help ease stress and anxiety. Zylkene, Feliway and D.A.P are some such products available over the counter. Feliway and D.A.P products contain calming pheromones, available in spray or diffuser form; Zylkene contains a molecule derived from milk which promotes relaxation and is administered as a pill.
For more severe cases prescription sedatives can be considered, however should be given under the direction of your veterinarian.