With Bonfire Night just a few days away it's time to prepare your pets for the unexpected noise.
While November 5 can be an exciting time for the family, it’s can be terrifying for pets who don't understand the noise, flashing lights and smells.
However, if you prepare in advance there’s plenty you can do to keep your cats and dogs from being petrified.
The RSPCA recommends the following advice for keeping your pets safe:
1. Create a safe haven for your pet to hide in
For dogs, a cupboard under the stairs or a table draped with a blanket is a great place for them to retreat to. It’s a good idea to have this ready in advance and encourage them to use it before the event so they have the opportunity to get used to this new spot before the festivities kick off.
2. Remember that flashing lights are scary too
It’s important to remember it’s not just the noise of the fireworks that’s unsettling for pets, it’s also the light. Reduce the chance of flashes by keeping your lights on and pulling your curtains shut. Keeping the TV or radio on at a volume your pet will be comfortable with will also help mask some of the sudden bangs.
3. Distract them
Wherever your pet decides to settle for the night, a long lasting chew or toy can be a great distraction from the noise going on outside.
4. Try your best to keep them indoors
Also, try and keep your pet indoors when fireworks are going off in your neighbourhood.
Escape-proof your home! Cats (and even some dogs) can squeeze into surprisingly tight spots, so have a look around your house and block off any dangerous or unsuitable areas your pets may get into.
5. Act normal
Animals are very perceptive and if they notice you’re behaving unusually (like following them around or being overly affectionate), they’ll sense something is up. If they see that the fireworks have no effect on you, this may help decrease their anxiety.
6. Make sure they're tagged
If worst comes to worst and your pet does happen to run away, make sure they can be identified (with ID tags and microchipping) so they can be reunited with you if found.
7. Small pets
Hutches and cages should be brought into a quiet room indoors, or placed in a garage or shed. If you are unable to bring your pet’s home inside, turn their enclosure to face the wall or fence instead of the open garden.