Halloween and Bonfire Night are family favourites, but please don’t forget that they can be particularly distressing for pets.
The crashes, bangs, wallops and weird costumes that are part and parcel of the season aren’t nearly as fun for our four-legged friends as for us.
But it doesn’t have to be this way — take a look at our top tips for keeping your beloved animals safe and sound.
Here are our pet prep tips:
- Playing a CD or YouTube video of firework noises at a low volume in the run up to the festivities might acclimatise your pet to unfamiliar noises before the big day and reduce their shock value. It’s a pet version of systematic desensitisation.
However, if your pet has a particular sensitivity to noise, this strategy might exacerbate matters— if this is the case, contact us for further advice.
- Meanwhile, walking your dog before ghoulish Trick-or-Treaters appear at your door ensures they’ve had their daily dose of exercise before those sweet-seeking little monsters disturb their peace.
Encountering miniature Count Draculas and Harry Potters can cause dogs anxiety, but the risk is reduced if they’re fed, watered and kept as far as possible from the front door.
- These household adjustments should help:
- Keep the TV or radio on throughout the night to act as a distraction for your pet — this prevents them fixating on noisy fireworks.
- Lock all windows and door, ensuring that all curtains are drawn to limit exposure to frequent flashes outside.
- Your pet might find a place to hide on Halloween or Bonfire night — this is completely normal and you should make this area a comfortable as possible. For instance, if they’ve sought sanctuary in the space below your bed, provide a few comfy blankets for the duration.
- Ensure that rabbits are kept in secure areas indoor for the evening. If this isn’t possible, cover outdoor hutches with blankets to muffle the sound, while ensuring they’re still ventilated. And fill them with extra bedding so to ensure they’re even more comfortable than usual
These behavioural tips should stand you in good stead:
- Reward good behaviour throughout the night — this will ensure that your pet remains calm.
- Without being a damp squib, you should behave as normally as possible and avoid heightened behaviour that pets will pick up on.
- If pets are used to having a companion, ensure that they’re together to support each other. This is especially relevant for rabbits.
Follow our pet safety tips for Bonfire night and survive this assault on pet senses smoothly and effectively.