Fireworks Night – Advice for Keeping Things Calm for Your Pets
Fireworks and Bonfire Night celebrations are tricky for pet owners. Many pets are, quite understandably, frightened by loud bangs and whizzes, and these are plentiful at this time of year. It can be very difficult to settle pets, especially if you live very close to a large display, but here are a few tips to try and make life safer, calmer, and easier for all.
- Most importantly act normally – do not react to the bangs and flashes, just do what you would normally do around the house – prepare dinner, sit down in the living room, and be relaxed. If your pet sees you’re calm, they are more likely to be calm themselves.
- Small mammals kept outside like rabbits or guinea pigs can be brought indoors. Ideally, this should be done in advance and gradually introduced so they can adapt to the temperature and change of surroundings.
- If rabbits and guinea pigs remain outside, they should be in a hutch with part of the hutch well covered so they have shelter from noise and flashing lights.
- Provide extra bedding for any small mammals so they can burrow into it to feel safe – this applies to outside pets but also indoor mammals like hamsters and mice.
- Walk dogs early in the day, during daylight
- Keep dogs and cats locked securely indoors
- Make sure your cats and dogs are wearing easily visible ID tags/are ID chipped in case they do escape, spook and run away (ID chipping is available with us, call to book an appointment).
- Make sure your dog has been let out for a wee just before dark, so they are ready to be kept in for the evening and not asking to go out.
- You can provide cats with a litter tray; they may well not use it if they are used to toileting outside but it’s good to give the option if you’re worried. You can put a little soil on top of the litter to make it more appealing to cats that are used to outside toileting.
- Provide a nest for your dog or cat in an enclosed space for example under a bed or at the bottom of a wardrobe – place some of your clothes or a familiar-smelling blanket in there. Lots of pets will choose to hide away from the noise and flashes.
- If your pets do hide don’t try and force them to come out; let pets stay hidden.
- If they choose to be out in the house with you it’s fine to give them cuddles and pats as you would normally. Try not to overreact and ‘over-fuss’ them however, as this can heighten their anxiety.
- If they pace or vocalise let them, don’t shout at them to stop.
- It can help to turn on the tv or radio. Also, turn lights on and close curtains to disguise the flashes.
- Stay in with your pet if possible – it is best not to leave pets alone when they’re scared.
- You may find your pets wee indoors or chew stuff/are destructive if left alone. If you find this on your return, do not react badly or scold your pet – shouting at a scared animal is no help at all. Just clean up and ignore it.
We wish you all the best of luck in getting through this year’s bonfire night. If you do feel you need any additional information or any calming products, please contact us on 01395 277775 for further help and advice.