Pet Safety on Bonfire Night

Many animals find loud noises scary so Bonfire Night is a particularly difficult time for pets. It’s important to know when your pets are distressed and how to help them cope, as well as keeping them safe! Getting the right advice is essential for keeping pets protected from the dangers associated with Bonfire Night. Here’s everything you should know about pet safety.

Enjoying fireworks and minimising stress for pets

Bonfire Night is a great time for the whole family and having pets doesn’t mean you shouldn’t join in on all the fun. However, there are ways to minimise the stress that pets go through.

Go to an organised event

Instead of having your friends and family around for the fireworks, why not go to a public display?

Local firework displays are at a set time which reduces the number of fireworks which let off in an area and help reduce the stress for local pets.

Organised events are also much safer than letting fireworks off yourself.

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Host your own display 

If you do want to host your own Bonfire Night, there are steps you should take to make it as stressful as possible for the animals around you.

Start by telling your neighbours so they can minimise the stress of their own nervous pets.

Also, hold the event as close to Bonfire Night as you can, this will mean that fireworks are not being let off for a prolonged period of time.

Keeping cats and dogs safe on Bonfire Night

Cats and dogs require extra attention during the fireworks period. They can escape and be in real danger if not cared for properly. Follow these steps to keep your cats and dogs safe:

  • To ensure your pets are safe, you should keep cats and dogs indoors during fireworks and when bonfires are lit. Never take dogs to a display and if you have a cat make sure the cat flap is shut. Staying at home with your pets will also reassure them that they are not alone.
  • Keep the television or radio on to distract pets noises outside. A bone or catnip toy will also keep them occupied when fireworks go off.
  • Try to ignore any fearful behaviour by soothing as this tells your pet something is wrong, let them find a safe space to hide in the home. Stay calm and relaxed, pets can pick up on our emotions and become anxious if we do.
  • Take your dog for a walk before it gets dark and keeps them on a lead so that they don’t run off if spooked by any fireworks.

Looking after small animals on Bonfire Night

Don’t forget about rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and hamsters during Bonfire Night. Loud noises are also scary for smaller pets. Here’s what you should do to keep them safe.

  • Cover hutches or aviaries with a blanket to muffle the loud bangs and block any flashes of light which may distress them.
  • Supply lots of extra bedding for small animals to burrow into, this will help make them feel safer.
  • Bring hutches indoors or if this isn’t possible move to a shed or garage where they will be more sheltered from the loud noises.

Taking care of larger animals on Bonfire Night

It can be tricky looking after larger animals such as horses, goats and donkeys when fireworks are going off. But, there are steps you can take to make it more comfortable for them.

  • Never set off fireworks near a stable or padlock and tell neighbours to be aware of the animals outdoors around them.
  • If a large animal bolts or escapes from a stable, don’t try to get it in it.
  • If you have a particularly anxious animal, consider moving it to a different place for a night.

Plan ahead and be prepared!

The most important thing to remember is to plan ahead if you are extremely worried about how a pet may react on Bonfire Night, speak to a vet. Some may recommend diffusers for dogs and cats which will emit calming chemicals and keep your pet feeling less stressed. This is especially useful for dogs and cats.

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