Advice on how to ease firework stress is offered to Sussex pet owners

A veterinary group in Sussex has offered advice to pet owners ahead of fireworks season.

St Anne’s Vets, which is based in Eastbourne, said they want to make sure pets are conformable during Halloween and Bonfire Night.

Clinical director Simon Devile said, “This is the most challenging time of year for pet owners, as there are so many potential triggers of stress in animals coming up over the next few months.

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“There are the bangs of fireworks, the noisy and hectic festive season, including unfamiliar faces and smells.

Simon Devile from St Anne’s Vets, Eastbourne SUS-211030-143047001

“All of these can cause stress in our pets and while some owners will seek guidance and advice, we also know there are many others who just suffer through this period.”

Mr Devile said there are a number of things owners can do to distract their pets including active play, watching television or playing calming music.

The clinical director added, “One of our top recommendations for pet owners is to remain calm. While it may be tempting to comfort a spooked cat or dog, this can actually be counterproductive.

“If owners appear to be unaffected, pets will feel more secure and confident.

Lewes Bonfire 2019. Photo by Jon Rigby SUS-190611-082214001

“Some pets could also benefit from pheromone diffusers and nutritional supplements.

“Also, don’t forget your small furries outside – the noise and smell of smoke from the fireworks, as well as the flashing lights, can trigger a stress response.

“Provide additional cover and hay or alternatively try and relocate them to a quiet room in the house.

“Remember, we are here to help and please contact us if you need advice for the firework season.”

The surgery also suggests owners close all windows, doors and curtains, keep their pets inside when fireworks are let off and provide a safe space for their animals.

A spokesperson from the surgery said, “Let your pet pace around, whine, meow and hide if they want to. Don’t try to coax them out – they are trying to find safety and should not be disturbed.

“Hutches and cages should, if possible, be taken into a quiet room indoors or into a garage or shed.

“Give your small pet extra bedding to burrow into so it feels safe.”