PET owners are being urged not to forget about their furry friends during this year’s fireworks festivities by a Rustington pet store.
Staff at Pets at Home Rustington, at the Rustington Retail Park, in New Road, will be on hand to offer tips on the best ways to keep pets feeling secure and safe as Bonfire Night approaches.
The retailer will be sharing top tips in store and via its social media channels, allowing customers to pass on advice to their fellow pet owners and raise awareness.
Wendy Gillard, store manager of the village shop, said: “It’s not very nice when you see your pet scared and stressed, but there’s lots of ways you can support them and make them feel at ease.
“We are encouraging anyone to come into store and chat to one of our advisors if they have any questions around Bonfire Night and how to keep their pets happy healthy during the fireworks seasons.”
The top ten tips on keeping your pet snug and secure this Bonfire Night, include:
. Create a safe place for your pet
Find a quiet part of your home and help your pet learn that this is an enjoyable and safe place to be. When the fireworks start, your pet should be allowed to go here and rest undisturbed. It’s a good idea to purchase a plug-in diffuser that releases a calming natural remedy to help de-stress your pet
. Provide distractions
Introduce your pet to a variety of toys that can keep them entertained and distracted from the noise.
. Let them be
Don’t try to coax them out of their hiding place; they will emerge when they feel relaxed and ready. You should also provide a litter tray in a private area for cats.
. Stick to your normal routine
This will help your pets to feel more settled. However, do try to walk your dogs before the darkness sets in, as this is when fireworks are likely to be set off.
. Keep your pets inside
Keep your pets safe indoors and secure all doors, windows and cat flaps to ensure they don’t run off. Make sure they are microchipped in case they manage to escape.
. Understand out-of-character behaviour
Your pet may act out of character when it shows signs of fear, but try to ignore this behaviour. Leave them alone unless they are likely to harm themselves or others.
. Drown out the noise
Close all windows and curtains, turn up the TV volume slightly and play some music to drown out the noise.
. Provide cover for cages
Noise phobia affects all types of pets, so remember to cover up bird avaries and cages with a thick blanket, ensuring that there is enough ventilation.
. Protect pets that live outside
If your pets live outside, partly cover enclosures with blankets so that one area is covered and so they can still look out. Give your pets extra bedding so they can hide and burrow to help them feel safe.
. Speak to an advisor
You can speak to your vet or the store team at your local Pets at Home store who can advise you on suitable calming products and techniques specific to your pet. In extreme cases, your vet may also refer you to a specialist vet who can advise on treating noise phobia through behavioural therapy.