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Firework fear - Percy's story

Monday, October 03, 2016

It is estimated that approximately 45 per cent of pets become stressed and fearful while fireworks are going off, yet many owners are unaware of how to help their pets with firework fears.

Percy’s story

Percy is a 2 year Cairn Terrier, who is absolutely terrified of fireworks. His owner, Teresa, explains: “As soon as poor Percy hears the distinct banging of fireworks he becomes frantic. He’ll bark continuously and will keep running around the house for the duration of the noise. He even urinates inside which is very out of character for him.”

Percy isn’t phobic of any other noises, and will be uneasy for several days after the event. Teresa continues: “We’ve tried different things to keep him calm, but unfortunately he can still be very unsettled. Hopefully, with lots of preparation this year, we’ll be able to make the night a bit easier for him.”

How to help your pet during firework season

  • Provide a den or hiding place for your pets.

  • Use pheromone diffusers or sprays as close to the den or hiding place as possible, or where your pet spends most of their time. This should be in place a few weeks before firework night.

  • Keep dogs and cats inside during fireworks and check that their microchip is up to date.

  • Walk dogs early in the evening before fireworks start

  • Ensure windows, doors and cat flaps remain closed during the firework season to both prevent pets escaping and reduce the noise Ensure your cats have access to enough litter trays during the firework season, especially if you’re keeping them inside

  • Provide distractions in the form of new toys and chews.  Draw curtains and put the TV or music on to mask any noise

  • Do not punish your pets for scared behaviour,  this will only make them more distressed.

  • Try not to leave your pets alone when fireworks are going off

  • Rabbits, guinea pigs or other outdoor pets should be brought inside wherever possible, or at least cover their hutch to help reduce the noise and light.

If you would like any further advice, call your local surgery to discuss with a veterinary nurse. For very severe cases, book an appointment to see a veterinary surgeon.



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