Alexa the pet whisperer: tips to keep pets calm with Amazon devices on Bonfire Night
As we draw closer to Bonfire Night, Alexa, Fire TV and Ring are all on hand to help make sure that our furry companions are kept soothed and relaxed on what can be a distressing night for them.
Whilst the fireworks usually leave dogs distressed and cats cowering in the corner – owners of Alexa, Fire TV and Ring devices can use a variety of Skills and features that will help put their pets at ease and allow them to enjoy their night despite the loud noises.
Leading animal welfare charity Battersea has also offered top tips on how to help your pets stay calm whilst utilising your devices. These aren’t just useful for Bonfire Night either – if your pets are anxious of staying home alone or afraid of loud noises and crowded parties, then try these tips.
Tips to use Alexa, Fire TV and Ring to relax your pets
1) Create a relaxing environment: According to Battersea, music can reduce the sudden impact of firework sounds, so why not play classical music playlists on your Amazon devices with Alexa at home? You can also say “Alexa, comfort my dog” or “Alexa, calm my cat” to play calming sounds through your Echo device. You can access both features, and much more, through the Alexa app.
2) Set up dog barking detection: Create a Routine through your Alexa app that can be activated whenever your Echo device hears a bark at home. You can personalise the Routine and trigger different features to calm your pet, including turning on smart lights, playing a calming playlist, or having Alexa chime in with a few comforting words.
3) Put on your pet’s favourite shows: Battersea suggests that TVs should be left on for anxious pets during fireworks, and it’s believed that dogs love watching cartoons, nature shows or even reality TV. You can play shows on your TV at home through your Fire TV Stick by simply asking the Alexa remote to play your pet’s favourite show.
4) Keep tabs on your pets with the Ring Indoor Cam: Battersea recommends that you shouldn’t leave your pets alone if they get stressed or anxious during Bonfire Night, but if you need to pop out quickly, then setting up a Ring Indoor Cam is a great way to keep tabs on them.
5) Talk to your pet through smart devices: You can use the Drop In feature from your Alexa app to speak to your pets, and they’ll hear your voice on your Echo device at home. Alternatively, use the Two-Way Talk feature on your Ring camera to check in. Whilst it isn’t advised to leave pets alone – this is a good option in case you need to leave the house briefly.
Ali Taylor, Head of Canine Behaviour and Training at Battersea, says: “Fireworks season can be a scary time for our pets, however, there are things that you can do at this time of year to help a nervous animal.
"Timing your dog walks earlier in the evening when fireworks aren’t being let off or ensuring your curtains are drawn are both good ways to help, as well as using your devices to turn lights on in the evenings, play calming music or switch on the TV – which will all help to buffer the noise and sight of fireworks.”
“Animals may choose to hide if they are worried by the fireworks, so set up a cosy den area and start to encourage your pet to choose to settle in there by hiding some tasty treats. If you know that your pet has severe reactions to fireworks, consider talking to your vet ahead of the celebrations to see if there’s any medications they can provide to help with their anxiety, and we’d always recommend not leaving them on their own.”
Battersea has also released a wider list of additional tips to help your pets this Bonfire Night, visit www.battersea.org.uk for more advice and helpful tips on how to keep your cat or dog calm during fireworks.
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