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Keep Your Pets Safe This Firework Season

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Bonfire night is usually a fun time for families but for many animals, it can prove to be stressful and scary. The loud bangs and bright flashes created by fireworks can cause pets to run away or act aggressively out of fear. During the winter months, there are various celebrations where fireworks are set off. It is important to keep your pets safe and calm during the firework season. Plan for these events and make provisions so your pets don’t feel anxious


Stress and Anxiety

Different pets react to fireworks in different ways. If your pet is displaying unusual symptoms or behaviour then it is likely they may be finding the firework season stressful. For signs of stress in animals, see the PDSA website for advice. Also, if your pet has a history of anxiety it may be worth talking to your vet in advance to prescribe a sedative. Always seek veterinary advice before giving your pet any medication.


Top Tips for Bonfire Night 

  • Make sure your cats and dogs are micro-chipped and that your contact information is up to date. 
  • Pets scared of fireworks will often run away to seek shelter and could get lost as a result.  
  • Taking your dog for a long walk before the fireworks start may help to tire them out so they feel more sleepy and relaxed later on. 
  • This year people will likely be having firework celebrations at their homes rather than in public spaces. If you can, walk your pet through the day during bonfire season as this will help reduce the risk of anxiety from loud bangs and flashes coming from back gardens. 
  • Playing calming sounds such as white noise to your dog or turning up the volume of your TV might help reduce the noise. 
  • Dogs often pant when they are scared so make sure your dog has access to water at all times to keep them hydrated. 
  • Staying at home with your pets may make them feel safer. 
  • Move outdoor pets into their cages and give them extra bedding in case they need to hide.
  • Creating a den in the weeks leading up to bonfire night will give your pet the option to use it as a safe place, should they need to. Filling it with cushions and draping it in breathable blankets could help reduce the noise associated with fireworks. It is important to note that force shouldn’t be used if your pet doesn’t want to use the den. 
  • Using a pheromone plug-in can deliver calming scents to your pets.
  • Cats feel safe in high up places so it is a good idea to clear a space on a shelf so they can jump up if they feel the need to. Always make sure the area is sturdy beforehand.

For more information on keeping on animals safe during the firework season, the RSPCA has a useful article.

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