After the busiest summer many of us have had in a long time, autumn is finally upon us. What is a favourite time of year for many people can be the most distressing time of your for our pets. If you are rescuing or buying a pet at this time of year then you're actually in luck as you now have a great opportunity to get your pup or kitten used to all the sounds and sights of autumn before they have the chance to develop any fears towards it. One of the easiest ways to prepare them is by playing firework sounds inside the house while you're all at home - just go about your regular routine and hopefully your dog or cat won't even really notice! It helps them to realise that the sudden bangs aren't necessarily anything to be afraid of. If you are already past this point and you have a fearful pet, we have a few pieces of advice below to help you out:
1. Close all curtains, turn up your TV and have a cosy, family night in - if you have a pet that is terrified of trick or treaters and fireworks, don't leave them at home alone, but don't mollycoddle them either. If you baby them a lot more than usual, then you will accidentally reinforce the idea that there is something to be afraid of. Instead, make sure they have family around who they can go to for reassurance, but also make sure they have a safe space where they can hide if they don't want to be around anybody at all. Put your favourite film on the TV a little louder than usual and close the curtains to help disguise any bangs or flashes, and settle in for a cosy family night.
2. Don't let your pet outside unleashed - this goes for cats, rabbits and Guinea pigs, too! Around this time of year, fireworks can start unexpectedly, spooking even the most confident of pets. It is a good idea to keep cats indoors with a litter tray where possible, and don't let dogs off their lead if you're walking them in the evening. All it takes is one firework and your dog may bolt and hide.
3. Speak to your vet - if the problem is extremely bad, your vet may be able to offer your some medicine to help keep your pet relaxed and happy.
We book up very quickly around Halloween and Bonfire Night, but we are also an option if your pet finds this time of year very distressing. We have no neighbours, so we definitely don't get any trick or treaters or have any fireworks going off! If you would like to discuss, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.