ON BEHALF of vet charity PDSA I’m urging pet owners in to take action to help prevent animals suffering the extreme distress and trauma triggered by fireworks.

Every year millions of dogs and cats are left literally shaking with fear and anxiety because of the noise created during fireworks season. Some are so scared they can inadvertently injure themselves or others, and our vets see hundreds of cases every year of animals suffering with fireworks phobias or fireworks related injuries.

We know this is a problem that affects large numbers of pets. In fact, our latest Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report found that 40% of dogs and 34% of cats in the UK are afraid of fireworks. Anyone who has seen their pet go through this misery knows how serious their anxiety and fear of firework sounds can be. Many shake and tremble, are unable to settle, they might toilet in the house, destroy furniture, and can even cause themselves physical injury if they panic, try to escape or run away.

While it’s difficult to shield pets from the noise of fireworks completely, there are some great ways that people can help their pets cope in the comfort of their own home. To help pet owners reduce their pets’ fears, we’re urging people to take action.

Thanks to funding support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, our expert vets have produced a step-by-step Fireworks guide for owners to help them prepare their pets. The 5-page guide has lots of great advice and practical tips on how to create a safe environment for their pet this Bonfire Night. It takes owners through the process of preparing pets for fireworks season, use of pheromones and music, how to build a noise-reducing fireworks den for pets, plus a checklist for the day itself.

To register to receive a free copy of the guide by email, visit pdsa.org.uk/fireworks-guide.

Kristiana Shirley

Vet nurse at PDSA