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Fireworks can be stressful and scary for pets and they can find the whole atmosphere of New Year's Eve strange where everything just seems a bit different – pets generally take comfort in their routine and familiar surroundings, and dislike any kind of change. Our pets often have better hearing than us so even fireworks that are far away and are barely audible to us can sound and feel loud to them.

This New Year's Eve, Keep a close eye for signs of stress in your pets such as -

Dogs – excessive barking and whining or growling, cowering, shaking, hiding, trying to run away, going to the toilet in the house, pacing, panting, refusing to eat, or being destructive

Cats – refusing to eat, cowering, growling hissing or spitting, cowering or hiding, trying to run away, not using their litter box.

Rabbits – stamping, freezing, shaking, not eating, trying to escape

Here are some ways to keep your pets safe and more comfortable this year

  1. This is the most important one - Keep them indoors, even if they are often out and about or usually live outdoors – It is best to keep them safe in the house, where you can keep an eye on them and no one can play tricks on them, sadly pets can get really hurt at this time

    2. Provide a safe hiding place for them (create a fort from blankets and duvets which will also help muffle the sounds. You can also provide boxes to hide in            or a comfortable crate for cats, rabbits, or small dogs) but make sure wherever you keep them is pet proofed, if your pet is anxious they may chew                      something unsafe for them such as wires. Some pets may prefer to be with you, so give them plenty of reassurance and cuddles.

    3. Put on some music to drown out the sounds a bit – make a calming playlist of classical or soothing music. Chat radio can also be a good alternative as             the sound of voices can be soothing

    4. Keep them busy – long lasting treat like a kong can keep them distracted – other options are puzzle boards with treats in, slow feeders or treat dispensing           balls, all of which can be used for rabbits, dogs or cat

    5. Be aware of lit candles – remember if pets suddenly get a fright, they will run and won’t necessarily see where they are going so make sure they are in             another room to your pet or up out of reach so that they don’t hurt themselves or cause a fire

   6. Make sure all windows and doors are securely closed, and make doubly sure your pet is securely shut in if anyone calls to the door before you open it, as          they may bolt out of fear

   7. Make sure your pets chip or collar ID tag is up to date and registered to the correct owner and address just in case

    8. Keep celebratory foods such as sweets out of reach of pets as they can be toxic

    9. If your pet needs extra reassurance or help there are other options available in pet shops or from your vet e.g

  • Thunder jackets for dogs and cats - these apply gentle, constant pressure just like swaddling an infant and helps calm your pet’s anxiety or fear, or over excitement (available online or in pet shops, and some vets)
  • Anti anxiety meds (vet prescribed)
  • Calming Pheromone Plug ins, collars, spot ons and tablets (available in pet shops)

I am delighted to see that Asda is selling low noise fireworks – hopefully these will be more readily available next year!

Fiona x 


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