PET owners are once again being advised how to prevent their pets becoming terrified as the fireworks season gets underway.
Stephen Bamber, a senior vet at Avonvale Veterinary Centres, said this time of year could be a nightmare for stressed-out pets with fireworks set off ever more frequently – from the traditional bonfire night, through to celebrations including Diwali, Christmas and New Year.
“Unfortunately some animals can react extremely badly, becoming so frenzied that they injure themselves or their owners. In severe cases an animal will have to be destroyed, which can obviously be heart-breaking for the owner,” said Mr Bamber.
“However, the vast majority of stressed pets can be treated without the need to resort to medication, such as with the use of desensitising CDs which get animals used to the noise of fireworks, and plug-in pheromones. Tips also include taking dogs for walks on a lead in the early evening, closing curtains before dusk, and distracting animals with active play, television and music.
“My top recommendation for owners though is to remain completely calm. While it may be tempting to comfort a spooked cat or dog, this can be counterproductive. Both mollycoddling and punishing a frightened pet could, in fact, reinforce negative behaviour. If owners appear to be unaffected, pets will follow this example,” said Mr Bamber.