1.  Be prepared.  Bring your pets inside or lock them up before the fireworks begin.  Once the fireworks have started it may be too late.   The majority of dogs and cats react by way of blind panic from the noise of fireworks and thunderstorms.


2.  Place your pets in a small room or the laundry, or in a covered crate or cat cage where they will feel safe, especially if you cannot be there.


3.  Leave the lights on in the room so the flashing of the fireworks is not so startling.


4.  Turn on the television or radio so that the fireworks blend with a noise the animal is used to.


5.  Donít make a fuss.  Behave as if fireworks are as common as breathing air.  Sitting there looking tense, waiting for the next one to go off, will only tell your animal it should be frightened.  A reassuring pat or a few words are fine Ė overdoing the attention will only confirm that something abnormal is happening.


6.  Provide a big juicy bone or tasty rawhide chew to distract the animal but remember, some will be too stressed to eat.


7.  Keep the animal confined until daylight so that random fireworks going off well after the event donít affect it.


8.  Get young animals used to loud noises.  Practice with nervous pets beforehand by banging pots together or using party poppers.  Use all the pointers given above to make your pet feel secure.


9.  Make sure all pets have a collar with identification, with petís name and your phone numbers, including mobile, in case of escape.


10. Be proactive.  When you know a fireworks night is coming up, pop a copy of this list in all the letterboxes in your street Ė especially neighbours with recently acquired dogs.


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