With nearly half of all dogs in the UK (45 per cent) showing signs of anxiety when they hear fireworks, the RSPCA has published some simple guidelines and a Pets & Fireworks video on how to help pets feel safe.
RSPCA animal behaviour expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Firework phobia in pets is a treatable condition and we recommend seeking advice from your vet so that you can plan ahead and help your pet cope around firework season. For example, if your dog is frightened of fireworks your vet may suggest referral to a clinical animal behaviourist to teach him/her to deal with the sounds, or the use of diffusers which disperse calming chemicals into the room.
“It is also a good idea to provide your dog with a safe haven. It is best to get your dog used to this before the season starts. Choose somewhere quiet and help him to learn that being there is positive and that no harm will come to him. You can do this by giving him toys or a variety of chew toys.”
Dr Gaines added: “Small animals that live outside should have lots of extra bedding so they can burrow and some of their enclosure could be covered by a blanket for extra insulation and sound-proofing. If you are planning to bring them indoors just before the fireworks are likely to start then introduce this before fireworks season.
“And if you are using fireworks yourself, please only do so on traditional celebration dates like Bonfire Night, when most animal owners will be expecting fireworks and will hopefully have made preparations to help their animals cope.”