Fabulous Finn’s fireworks advice

Fabulous Finn’s advice for you and your dogs & cats this bonfire night.

Always keep dogs and cats inside when fireworks are being let off. Make sure your dog is walked earlier in the day before the fireworks start and perhaps keep them on a lead in case a firework is let off and startles them.

Close all windows and doors, and block off catflaps to stop pets escaping and to keep noise to a minimum. Draw the curtains, and if the animals are used to the sounds of TV or radio, switch them on (but not too loudly) in order to block out some of the noise of the fireworks.

Ensure dogs are wearing some form of easily readable identification. They should have at least a collar and tag.

Make sure their microchip is up to date, so that if they do run away they have a better chance of being quickly reunited with you.

Prepare a ‘den’ for your pet where they can feel safe and comfortable – perhaps under a bed with some of your old clothes. They may like to hide there when the fireworks start.

Let your pet pace around, whine, miaow and hide in a corner if they want to. Do not try to coax them out – they are just trying to find safety, and should not be disturbed.

Try not to cuddle and comfort distressed pets if you can (hard as it maybe) as they may think you are worried too, and this may make the problem worse. Instead stay relaxed, act normally and praise calm behaviour.

Avoid leaving your pet alone during such potentially upsetting events.

If you do have to leave the house, don’t get angry with your pet if you find they have been destructive after being left on its own. Shouting at a frightened pet will only make them more stressed.

Don’t tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off, ie outside a shop while you pop inside, or leave them in the garden or in your car.

Never take your dog to a fireworks display. Even if they don’t bark or whimper at the noise, it doesn’t mean they are happy. Excessive panting and yawning can sometimes indicate that your dog is stressed.

Research calming products like those by Pet Remedy and Dorwest.

Gemma Wardell