The following information is appropriate for domestic pets, especially cats and dogs but may be useful for other domestic animals too. Horses can also become extremely anxious from loud noises and escape - we recommend you consult your equine vet for advice on preparing your horses.
Do not punish your pet for exhibiting his behaviour during times of stress.
Attempt to engage, distract and reassure your pet that everything is OK, but don't 'force' this if it becomes particularly distressed.
Provide access to a safe area where your pet may feel more at ease. Animals usually indicate their preferences such as under a bed or inside a wardrobe. Allow it to go where it wants to feel safe. Close bird cages, rabbit hutches and other fixed enclosures and ensure the pet door and windows are closed and locked.
Make sure that your boundary fences and gates are secure and that your pet cannot readily escape through them or over them.
Ensure that your pet wears identification, particularly a microchip. In the unfortunate event that your pet should escape from your property, it will run blindly away without regard to where it is going. When it eventually calms down it will probably not know where it is or how to return. A microchip gives you the greatest chance that you and your pet will be reunited.
If you know that your pet is extremely fearful of thunderstorms, consult your vet to see if he or she can prescribe medication that will calm it in known times of stress.
Follow these tips to prepare your pet for the fireworks season.
Ensure your pet’s microchip details and council registration details are up-to-date and that your pet is wearing a collar/ID tag with your current phone number.
Keep your pet in a secure indoor area during fireworks and thunderstorms - a laundry or garage is good if you have an outdoor pet. Alternatively, crate train your pet, then settle it in the crate for the duration of the fireworks.
Create a hideout for your pet in a quiet room with as few windows as possible.
Cover any windows in this room to further block out noise and to block out flashes of lightening or fireworks.
Create a bed from blankets for burrowing and put an unwashed tracksuit or a similar item in the room so that the pet has your scent. Alternatively, prepare your pet’s crate in a similar way.
A few days or more before the fireworks, start taking your pet into the room/crate and giving it treats on the blankets so that it gets comfortable.
If you are expecting fireworks, take you dog for a walk in the early afternoon to tire it out.
Have food available in the room such as kongs, bones, treatballs and long-lasting treats. Extended chewing will help calm dogs and stimulation will distract them.
Put on moderately loud music or a TV to muffle loud outside noises and to distract your pet. A small battery operated radio maybe a safe way to incorporate noise for distraction into this room.
Desensitising your pet to loud noises is a good option if you have time to invest and can do it in advance of fireworks
Credits to RSPCA Victoria