Bonfire night is a fun time of year for many – we look forward to drinking mulled wine, “oooo-ing” and “ahhh-ing” over fireworks and warming our hands as we watch Guy Fawkes burn on top of the bonfire. But as much as we love bonfire night, many of our pets hate it! As we enjoy watching the fireworks, amazed at the incredible shapes and colours they form, our animals are terrified of the noises they make. It is estimated that 45% of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks.
But the night can be distressing and frightening for all pets –not just dogs – cats, rabbits, hamsters and birds can all be affected as well. Therefore it is important that you help your pet by ensuring they are as calm and comfortable as possible.
There are obvious dangers if your pet is around fireworks and the bonfire. If scared enough they could run off resulting in them getting injured or lost, but even at home, away from direct danger, your pet could still feel extremely distressed. Not all animals are affected, but what are the signs to look out for and what can you do to help keep your pet safe?
Know the Signs:
If you know your pet you will know when something isn’t right. It is important to look out for the indications that your pet is not happy. These could include pacing, panting, trembling, hiding/remaining close to you, or a number of other signs that might suggest your pet is acting out of the ordinary.
Before the Night:
Prepare a ‘safe haven’ such as a den, so your pet has a place they can go to and settle down if they are distressed by the noise of the fireworks. A firework noise CD can be used to desensitise them to the sound of fireworks over a period of time. Get your pet microchipped, so if the worst should happen and they do go missing, you have the best chance of them being returned to you.
On the Night – DO:
Keep your pet indoors with windows/curtains and doors securely closed when fireworks are being set off – but leave internal doors open so they don’t feel trapped.
Provide background noise such as the TV or radio to distract them.
Walk and feed him/her early – so you aren’t out during the fireworks and in case your pet is too anxious to eat later on.
Praise your pet when he/she is calm to help reassure him/her.
Act and behave as normal – remain calm, happy and cheerful to send positive signs to your pet. They will pick up on any odd behaviour.
Keep a collar and ID tag on your pet – just in case!
On the Night – DON’T:
The best way to avoid as much of the stress as possible that bonfire night brings is to not take your pet to a fireworks display or walk them while fireworks are being set off – even if they don’t appear to be distressed.
Let your dog out in the garden whilst fireworks are being let off!
Leave your pet on its own or in a separate room to you.
Tell your pet off – this will only make them more distressed.
Forget to top up the water bowl – anxious dogs pant more and get thirsty.
Fireworks aren’t just set off on bonfire night, so it is important to be ready for the above across the month. Remember, Remember pet safety in November! If you want to be extra careful when it comes to the safety of your pet, you can invest in Bivvy insurance and make sure your pet stays safe!
Whether you have an older dog or cat, are currently searching the puppies or kittens for sale from Freeads for a new addition to your family– or have any other pet for that matter – bear in mind during all the excitement of the evening that your pet may need a little extra TLC.