2 Dec

Keep your pets calm this Christmas and New Year...

Posted 2/12/2015 by: Reeds Rains

Fun for you, scary for pets! - Was your pet frightened of all the Christmas and New Year fireworks last year? Did the loud pops and bangs have your dog quivering in the corner and your cat hiding on the top of the cupboard? If so, now is a perfect time to get ready for firework season. Making your home calm and comfortable for your pet before the event can reduce the stress fireworks can cause.

Preparing your home for dogs...

The best way to prepare for fireworks is to think like a dog. They feel scared as they are alarmed by the loud noises of the fireworks but do not understand that fireworks cannot harm them and feel safer when they have a hiding space. You can make your dog a ‘safe haven’ or a ‘dog den’. If your dog already has a hiding place then this space can be used making it as snug and secure for your dog as possible by adding blankets or bedding. If you are making your ‘dog den’ from scratch try to do this a few weeks in advance so that your dog knows it is a safe place when fireworks start. 

Pheromone support

Pheromones are natural chemical ‘signals’, which are secreted by animals to communicate different types of messages to themselves or others. One pheromone dog’s use is called the ‘dog appeasing pheromone’ that a mother produces to reassure her puppies. This pheromone has been proven to not only reassure puppies, but also adult dogs in challenging situations such as fireworks night. ADAPTIL® is a synthetic copy of this pheromone and studies have shown its effectiveness in helping dogs with sound sensitivities. Plugging in an Adaptil diffuser or using an Adaptil collar early will help create a calm atmosphere in your home. 

On the night top tips
• Ensure all windows and doors are shut. Close the curtains and turn on the TV or play music to muffle the sound of the fireworks
• Consider distracting your dog from the fireworks by giving them a chew, toy or playing a game with them
• Use an ADAPTIL® diffuser close to your ‘dog den’ or hiding place
• Walk your dog early in the evening when it is still light outside and ensure your dog is micro-chipped
• NEVER punish your dog for displaying unwanted behaviour as a result of fireworks going off. This will only make them more distressed

Preparing your home for cats...

Early preparation is also important for our feline friends, although masters at disguise cats can become upset when confined to the home during firework season. A few simple changes to their environment can really help cats cope during firework season and the winter months in which they spend much more time in the home.

To help your cat feel comfortable ensure they have a safe, warm and easily accessible place to sleep and hide inside. Cats like to get up high so providing elevated hiding places can help them feel more comfortable. Ensure all doors, windows and cat flaps are locked so that your cat cannot escape should they try to bolt. Provide them with plenty of litter trays to use especially if your cat is used to toileting outdoors - we even suggest one per cat plus one extra! 

Playing relaxing music or watching TV can also help to muffle the loud bangs, and having fun toys to hand, such as treat balls can certainly help provide a distraction from what is going on outside. If you have more than one cat, ensure you have separate feeding stations and water dishes as well as plenty of elevated hiding places for them to escape to.

Pheromone support

When cats feel happy in their environment they will mark the area by rubbing their face against objects in your home. When they do this they are leaving behind a facial pheromone, which tells your cat that the area is safe and familiar. FELIWAY® is a synthetic copy of this pheromone and is scientifically proven to help prevent or reduce stress-related behaviours and help cats adjust to their environment.

On the night top tips:
• Keep your cat indoors after dark
• Ensure all windows and doors are shut. Close the curtains and turn on the TV or play music to muffle the sound of the fireworks
• Make sure there is a litter tray, water bowl and have some treats to hand. If you have more than one cat, have a feeding station and litter tray for each cat plus a spare one. has additional information on resource management
• Ensure your cat has a safe, warm area to hide away in
• Feed your cat early in the evening when it is still light outside and ensure it is micro-chipped
• Separate your cat’s resources so feeding stations, water bowl & litter trays are not next to each other