Top tips to keep pets calm during Halloween and fireworks season

Posted 6 years ago in the Dog welfare tips and advice category

Halloween and Bonfire Night is fun for many but scary costumes, masks, hats and fireworks, may not be so much fun for our pets. Enjoy yourself but be careful and considerate too. Our Kennel Welfare team, alongside our friends at Pets Corner, would like to offer their tips and advice to keep your pets safe and happy at this time of year.

Doyle the Warlock and Teal the devil dog ready for Halloween

Rio with pumpkinsAt this time of year there are hundreds of assistance dog owners all over the UK who may soon find themselves with a highly-trained assistant and invaluable lifeline that has become traumatised by fireworks or trick or treaters.  This can mean their owners will be left without their trusted companion and, as a result, lose their independence.

It’s not just assistance dogs however that are affected by loud, noisy fireworks, excited children and frightening outfits, it’s other pets inside and outside the home too.

Our Kennel Welfare Team have some great top tips on how to keep your pets both safe and reassured during Halloween and fireworks season:

  • In kennel welfare, one of the first things we say to all our puppy parents, partners and fosterers is don’t let your dog go with you to the front door to greet trick or treaters. It’s best to keep them calm and quiet in another room in the house when you go to the door.
  • Any pets that usually live or like to be outdoors should be kept inside where possible or kept in their safe outdoor housing. For example, make sure cats are indoors not prowling the neighbourhood during the evening.
  • Follow the ROCKET code to keep pets from being traumatised by fireworks:

R: Reduce outside noise in your house by closing windows and curtains and turning on a television or radio

O: Occupy pets with games or toys, this acts as a great distraction

C: Calm and quiet behaviour should be rewarded, anxious and worried behaviour should be ignored

K: Keep calm yourself – your anxiety can transfer to your pet

E: Early use of anti-stress aids such as DAP products can be beneficial

T: Time out and safe area: pets often find their own safe place where they feel secure

Our friends at Pets Corner also offer some useful advice for pet owners:

Plan ahead: take your dog for a long walk before it gets dark and evening activities get going.

Be cautious with costumes: even though it may be fun to dress up pets with festive accessories, never force your pet to wear anything. If your pet is happy to dress up make sure garments are appropriate to the animal, their movements aren’t restricted and materials are flame resistant.

No glow sticks: keep glow sticks and glow accessories well away from pets. Even though they aren’t necessarily toxic, if chewed on they can cause your pet to salivate excessively and act abnormally.

You can find further tips, advice and information on all things animal related on the Pets Corner website in the Petopedia section.

We hope both our and Pets Corner’s advice offered above will help reduce the number of pets severely traumatised by fireworks each year.  That, coupled with the sensible and restricted use of fireworks, should mean the impact of Bonfire Night and Halloween on assistance dogs – and their owners – and domestic pets alike will be much less, and everyone can enjoy the celebrations.

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