With Halloween and Bonfire Night almost upon us, we thought it would be useful to take a look at some practical tips to help your pets stay calm amidst the inevitable bangs and whizzes that are all too common at this time of year.
Outdoor pets are more exposed to the sights and sounds of Halloween and Bonfire Night, and so we recommend checking on them regularly to reassure yourself that no ‘tricks’ have been played near the hutch, and that any stray fireworks or sparklers are safely removed. If you can, move your pet’s hutch into a garage or shed for added protection and noise insulation, and if this is not possible, add plenty of extra hay and place some old carpet over the hutch to dull the noise and provide extra warmth.
Many dogs and cats are likely to find unexpected loud noises stressful (the RSPCA estimates that 45% of dogs exhibit signs of stress when they hear fireworks). Hopefully after our blog a few weeks ago you have been working on noise desensitisation, but if you’re not quite there yet, the good news is that there is plenty you can do to get through the night with your nerves, and your soft furnishings, intact!
- Now, in the days before Bonfire Night, start letting your cat out or taking your dog for a walk earlier in the evening so that they are used to a new routine rather than being stressed by a big change on the night.
- Consider using an Adaptil spray on your dog’s blankets and toys – this mimics the appeasing pheromones produced naturally by the mother and thus helps to calm your dog down
- For cats, Feliway sprays work in the same way. The Ralph Site Shop stocks a range of pheromone sprays and diffusers.
- We also offer a Pet remedy Natural calming spray, which helps to relax your pet with a unique blend of calming essential oils.
- Build a safe, dark, comfortable den in a quiet place, and place your pet’s favourite toys, treats and blankets in it.
- Leave the door to the room where you have made this den open, or provide space for your pet to come and go freely – shutting your cat or dog in will only increase their stress levels.
- Lock or block any cat flaps so that your pet cannot escape, and provide a litter tray, plenty of food and water and a comfortable blanket.
- Keep all doors and windows closed, drawing curtains and blinds to keep the noise to a minimum.
- Sit with your dog or cat, helping them to relax by following a normal evening routine and with music or the television on in the background.
- If your pet shows any signs of fear try to ignore their behaviour. Don’t punish or fuss over your pet as this will give the message that what they are doing attracts attention, and thus makes things worse in the long run.
Good luck everyone!
Until next time, very best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support
Please note: The Ralph Site is not affiliated with the third-party organisations in any of the links shared here, and the views, ideas and suggestions expressed in this and other blogs are simply shared with the intention of helping you, our friends, take care of the special animals in your lives.