Fireworks are a festive part of many holidays, but they can be a source of stress and anxiety for pets. Loud noises, bright lights and unfamiliar smells can be overwhelming for animals, and some may even become aggressive or destructive. Follow these eight tips to help your pet stay calm and safe during fireworks.
1. Prepare early. To help your pet cope with fireworks, prepare them in advance. Introduce them to the sounds and smells of fireworks in a controlled environment. Watch YouTube fireworks videos at home to get them accustomed to the noise and lights while letting them enjoy their favourite treats and toys.
2. Create a safe space. Every pet has a place where they feel secure. Some dogs and cats may prefer to hide in a crate or under a bed, while others may be able to stay in a quiet room with their favourite toys. Find a place where your pet can go to feel safe during the fireworks.
3. Distract them. If your pet gets anxious, distract them with something they enjoy, such as a game, a toy or a treat. Try playing calming music or turning on a fan or white noise machine to help mask the sound of the fireworks. Close curtains, shutters and blinds to muffle the sounds and block out the bright lights.
4. Keep yourself calm. Pets pick up on human emotions, so you can help them by maintaining your own serenity. If you feel calm, your pet will likely feed off that energy and follow your lead.
5. Take a walk. Going for a long walk with your dog on the day of the event will help them get some exercise and tire them out before the fireworks start.
6. Avoid leaving your pet alone. If you must leave your pet home alone, ensure they have a safe place to go and that you've given them plenty of toys and their favourite treats to keep them occupied.
7. Have your pet microchipped. Fireworks events cause many dogs and cats to escape their homes and get lost. Get your pet microchipped so that if your furry companion ends up at a shelter, the staff there can contact you.
8. Consider medication. If your pet is severely anxious or has a history of aggressive behaviour, consider talking to your veterinarian. They may prescribe a safe medicine to help reduce anxiety in pets.
Visit an animal clinic in Toronto
If your pet struggles with severe anxiety, a caring veterinarian at Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital can create a custom care plan. Contact us at our Scarborough clinic today to book an appointment. We help pets and their families throughout the Greater Toronto Area.