Cracker sounds are a stress for most pets – and can leave owners pretty frazzled too.
According to figures from the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) , 45% of dogs show signs of fear when they hear loud bangs.
And 65% of owners feel anxious for their pet as the bangers go off.
But with Diwali celebrations starting, planning can take the stress out during crackers bursting. Here’s ten things you can do to help:
1. Create a safe den or hideaway, like this cat tent, right. Before fireworks night, put treats, toys and blankets there so pets associate it with positive experiences. The RSPCA’s Professor Daniel Mills said: “Dogs learn this place is safe and enjoyable. So when fireworks go off they may go there because they know no harm will come to them.”
2. Keep pets indoors. Cats should stay in and dogs walked in daylight.
3. Close curtains and play music or leave the TV on to muffle firework noise.
4. Protect small animals. Rabbits, guinea pigs or birds should be given extra bedding to burrow in and have an area of their cage or hutch covered with blankets.
5. Try letting pets smell essential oils – they can help to relax and soothe them.Use plug in pheromone diffusers.
6. Try calming supplements in their food.
7. Play with pets so they are tired and may sleep through the day.
8. Don’t punish a pet for reacting to noise – it will make things worse.