Pets and Fireworks Don’t Mix

Bonfire Night can be a noisy time of year and a really frightening time for your pets. As well as being stressful for them, animals have really acute hearing and loud bangs and whistles can even cause them pain. But with some preparation you can help your pet survive the 5th November and other fireworks events.

In preparation …

 

  • Think of wildlife during this season. A pile of leaves and wood ready for your bonfire can look like the perfect nest for hedgehogs and other wildlife. Try to avoid setting up a bonfire too soon or try to disturb the area before lighting the fire so such animals have chance to move away.

 

  • Pheromone therapies are available to purchase and can help with some firework anxieties. They come in a variety of options such as diffusers, sprays, collars or supplements to suit the needs of your pet. Alternatively, speak to your vet about referring to a behaviourist or they may consider prescribing medication to help calm your animal.

 

On Fireworks night

  • Exercise your dogs during daylight hours well away from the times when fireworks are likely to be let off. Extra walks can help to tire your dog so they are less reactive for the evenings.
  • Use treats or toys to reward good behaviour whilst these noises play out in the background.
  • Put on the TV or radio and close windows and curtains to help to mask the sounds of Bonfire Night.
  • Read to your dog as a helpful way to reduce stress (for both you and your dog). Choose a place that feels warm and safe. The soothing, continuous and familiar sound of your voice will help distract from the noise of fireworks and make you both feel more at ease.
  • Create a den. Find one or more spaces in your house where your dog could hide in a comfy spot, with their favourite toys and food/treats. If you dog goes to these areas then leave them to settle there and try not to impose yourself on them. They should be allowed to feel in control in these areas.
  • Make sure your cats are brought in before fireworks are likely to be let off. Providing your cat with a litter tray, safe den and food/treats can help to reduce the stress that comes with Bonfire Night. Allow your cat to hide if they want to – don’t try to tempt them out from their safe place.
  • Consider bringing rabbits and guinea pigs indoors. If this isn’t an option then partially cover the cages but allow them to still look out. Providing extra bedding can allow them to burrow and hide.