In our town, people start letting off fireworks about a week before Bonfire Night, so it's no longer just one day that your pets have to suffer the loud noises and bright lights.

Making sure your pets aren't affected by the whizz-bangs can take time and you need to start some of these preparations as early as possible.

Young animals can sometimes be scared of the television, radio or even loud voices at first, but after they have been around them for a while they get used to these unexpected and unfamiliar noises. This is the same with fireworks and last year I found that the week of smaller bangs going off before the big day really helped my dog get accustomed. By the time the 5th of November arrived, he was really relaxed and barely took any notice of them, but I continued to praise my dog every time he remained calm so he knew it was the correct way to behave.

If you don't get the week-long build up, you could try introducing your pets to the bangs and sizzles by using YouTube videos or a CD (you can buy these online). Start by playing them really quietly (barely audible) and reward your pet for calm behaviour with a treat or cuddle along with praise. Over a few months, you can gradually increase the volume until your pet remains quiet and calm even at a noise level of normal fireworks.

This obviously isn't the case for all pets and no matter what you do they can still be concerned by the loud bangs. If this is how your pet reacts, you can create a den for them to escape to if they get scared. It should be located somewhere dark and commonly used by your pet. Line the den with your pets favourite piece of Vetfleece, extra blankets and some of their much-loved toys so they feel safe and secure and if you can, make sure the roof and sides are covered so no big flashes cause extra anxiety.

If you don't think that any of the above preparations will help to settle your pet, it's advisable to visit your local vet to see if any calming remedies will be suitable. These can usually be popped in their water or food and will help them remain relaxed. I have also seen plug-in diffusers at our local supermarket that might do the trick, I've not tried them myself but I know other pet owners that swear by them.

If you have tips or tricks that have worked for your pets, we'd love to hear about them. Please email them to us at [email protected]