The RSPCA has asked pet owners to think about their pets during the upcoming fireworks and bonfire season.

Bonfire season can be a busy time for the RSPCA – the charity says it receives hundreds of calls every year.

According to the charity, it regularly receives “hundreds” of calls about fireworks in October and November, when bonfire night and Diwali celebrations are in full swing. In 2013 it received 310 calls, and in 2012, this figure was 326.

With the first flurry of fireworks set to be this weekend (October 31-November 2) it is often a stressful time of year for pets and their owners. In fact, an estimated 45% of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks.

Ideas the RSPCA is giving to the public include:

  • using a sound therapy CD to help dogs be less afraid of loud noises
  • using pheromone diffusers to help pets feel calmer
  • providing constant access to safe hiding places
  • closing windows and curtains and turning on the radio or TV to help mask the sounds from outside
  • not showing anger towards a pet when it appears frightened, as this will convince the animal there really is something to be afraid of, and
  • partly covering the cages, pens and aviaries of animals living outside with blankets so one area is well soundproofed.

Chief veterinary officer James Yeates said: “Countless pet owners will be dreading the run up to bonfire night because of the distress it causes to their animals.

“But there are ways to help your pets get over any fear they may have. Planning ahead and speaking to your local vet about the options available is a great start.

“Firework phobia is a treatable condition, pets do not have to suffer in misery every year.”

The RSPCA has also asked organisers of any events during bonfire season to be “vigilant” and give “plenty of notice” to people in the area. It has also asked for some “consideration” so fireworks are not let off too close to places where animals are – such as farms or zoos.

For more information, visit the RSPCA’s website.

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