Top Tips for Your Pet on Firework Night

Top Tips for Your Pet on Firework Night

Animals tend to have much better hearing than humans, which means that things often sound much louder to them. The loud bangs and whistles that they are exposed to when fireworks are let off can cause them a lot of distress, and can be very frightening and even painful.

The run-up to Bonfire Night therefore can be a traumatic time for pets but there are some things that you can do to reduce their stress and help them to get through this time of year.

Cats and Dogs

Keep your cat or dog indoors during firework displays and schedule walks with your dog before fireworks are likely to start being let off.

Doors and windows will probably already be closed but if you also have a cat flap, don’t forget this too. You may want to seal it up so that your pet can’t escape through it if they get scared and stressed.

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Drawing curtains or blinds will block out a lot of the visual aspects of fireworks. If you’re also concerned about the noise levels, you may want to have the television or radio on (at normal volume) to muffle some of the sounds of fireworks.

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In the lead up to firework season, your pet may like the idea of having a “den” that they escape to when they feel stressed and want to hide. This can be as simple as the space underneath your bed. If you’re not confident that your pet will use this unprompted, spend some time training them to use it in the weeks beforehand. Building a positive association with the “den” through praise, toys and treats can work well.

If your pet does hide, don’t try to encourage them out until they’re ready. This can stress them even more, whereas they’ll probably feel a lot safer in their chosen spot.

For cats, pheromone diffusers (such as Feliway) can help to calm stressful situations. These can be effective as they are a synthetic copy of your cat’s natural pheromones. As well as the diffuser, you may also look at spraying Feliway in any places that your pet tends to hide when scared so that this area becomes calming and safe.

Small Animals

If you have a rabbit or other small animal that lives outdoors, it’s best if you bring them indoors when you know firework displays will be happening nearby, or move them into a shed.

If this isn’t possible, you can look to block out the sights and sounds of fireworks so that they aren’t as scary. This can be done by covering their hutch or cage with thick blankets or tarpaulin – as long as there is still adequate ventilation.

Offering extra bedding that they can snuggle into can make them feel more comfortable, and may also help to muffle firework related noises too.

Does Your Pet Need More Help?

If your pet has been very frightened of fireworks in the past, your vet may recommend behavioural therapy or medication.

  • Jessica

    My dog is so scared of fireworks she wont now leave the house for her afternoon walk. What would you recommend as there are so many products but I cant seem to find any reviews. Thanks

    • Nathan Flatman

      We think a collective approach is often needed. Possibly Adaptil plug in downstairs, starting around 3 weeks before firework night, then backed up with Pet Remedy, which often has an instant impact. By building a den you can use some of the Adaptil or Pet Remedy spray to make it a safe and great hiding space. You can then use something like YuCALM or Zylkene tablets in the dogs food to also help relax the animal. Hope that information helps.