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Furry Friends and Fireworks

Tips to prepare you and your pets for New Years Eve

As 2021 draws to a close, the final few weeks of the year will be filled with family, food and festivities as people come together to celebrate the Christmas season. After the presents have been unwrapped and the leftovers finally finished, New Years Eve parties will be the next thing on people's minds, and with them comes the most popular firework events of the year.

Whilst we may enjoy seeing in the new year with a firework display, often our pets are not so keen. According to the PDSA, 40% of pet owners say that their pet is scared of fireworks. None of us like to see our pets in distress, so keep reading for some tips to help keep them comfortable and calm as we move into 2022.

If you would usually walk your dog in the evening, instead go earlier in the day while it's still light outside. This will allow you to get back home before it gets dark and any fireworks start to be let off. Also, keep your dog on a lead at all times, as they may be spooked by any early fireworks and try to run away.

Keep outdoor cats inside so that they are less likely to be scared by firework sounds. If they do get spooked, however, make sure to let them hide wherever they like. Cats do not like being picked up or restrained when they are scared, so it is best to leave them alone.

Small Pets
If possible, bring the hutches of any outdoor pets such as rabbits or guinea pigs inside overnight. However, if you are unable to do so, partially cover their hutch to help block out the fireworks, but leave part of it uncovered so that they can look out if they want to. Additionally, make sure to provide plenty of bedding or hay, as smaller animals like to burrow when they get scared.

All Pets
When your pets are inside, shut all blinds and curtains to block out the noise and lights of any fireworks, and play music or turn on the TV to further mask the sound. Create a safe space for your pet, filled with their bedding, favourite toys and snacks, for them to hide in if they get scared. If they want you to, stay here with your pet so you can comfort them if needed.

All pets will react differently to fireworks, therefore it is important to follow their lead when it comes to how they cope. Staying calm will reassure your pet, and do not punish them for any bad behaviour they exhibit whilst they're scared.

We hope you and your pets have a good time celebrating this New Years Eve, and we wish you a very happy 2022!

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