Veterinary Ireland is advising pet owners on measures to keep their pets safe this Halloween. As their hearing is much more sensitive than humans, most pets are scared by sudden, loud noises, as well as flashes of light and so the weeks leading up to Halloween can be a very distressing time.
Up to 80 percent of pet owners report that their pet is afraid of fireworks. Most pets display mild symptoms of fear or anxiety initially but if improperly managed they tend to get worse.
Signs of pet anxiety
Ensure that someone remains with your pet when fireworks may be heard, and especially on the night of Halloween.
Provide a den or a hiding place where your pet can feel safe.
Make your pet a comfortable bed here, with old sweatshirts and other clothing to give your pet a sense of your reassuring presence. A crate with some blankets over it is ideal for a dog. A cat may prefer to hide in a high up location such as the top of a wardrobe.
Keep your pet inside with the doors and windows closed and your favourite radio station switched on in the room.
Provide an extra litter tray for cats.
Make sure to exercise your dog early in the day and give your pet something to do in the evening (such as chewing a frozen food-stuffed dog toy ).
Ensure that all pets are wearing identification tags and have microchip identification just in case your pet runs away from the sound of fireworks, the chances of being reunited significantly increase with identification.
Ignore fearful behaviour such as panting, shaking or whining. If owners give such animals extra attention in an attempt to “comfort” them, the pet may perceive this as a reward for displaying this type of behaviour and it can make matters worse over time.