Top tips to help your pet cope with firework night
Remember, remember the 5th of November… Unfortunately many pet owners remember this date because of the upset and distress it causes their pets.
Fortunately there are some things you can do to help your pet cope with firework night.
Cats and Dogs
1. Always keep your pet inside when fireworks are being let off. You can help do this by feeding them early in the morning so they will be hungry and come home! You could also use treats to encourage them back in.
2. Close all windows, doors and cat flaps and draw the curtains
3. If your dog is used to the sound of the TV or radio then switch it on quietly in order to block out some of the noise
4. Make sure your pet has some sort of ID in case it escapes when frightened. It is even better if your pet is micro-chipped
5. Prepare a den for your pet so it has somewhere to hide and feel safe. You could put an item of your clothing in the den so there is a familiar smell
6. Try not to leave your pet at home alone
7. Do not fuss your pet when it is scared as this reinforces the unwanted behaviour
8. If your pet paces around, cries or tries to hide in a corner then do not disturb it as it is trying to find somewhere it feels secure9. If you do leave your pet and come back to find it has been destructive then do not get angry or shout at it
10. Do not punish your dog for cowering or reacting to the fireworks as this will intensify the fear
11. Aim to br relaxed and therefore provide a good role model to your dog when he/she is afraid
12. If your dog comes to you for comfort don’t ignore them. Interact with them calmly
13. Keep your pet busy indoors – play games or enjoy some reward-based training to keep their mind off noises
14. If you know of feral cats in your area, you could leave a shed door open to offer somewhere to take shelter (we don’t advise leaving any food for them)
See our list of Fireworks Phobia Products for other ways to help your pet cope
Small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, birds)
- Hutches, cages and enclosures should be brought indoors where possible. This can be the house, the garage or a shed
- Give your pet extra bedding so it can burrow if frightened
- If you cannot bring the hutch inside then turn it around so it faces a wall or fence. You can even use a thick blanket or duvet to block out sight and sound. It is very important to ensure that there is still adequate ventilation for the animal to breathe!
Horses Cats and Dogs
- Keep your horse in a familiar environment in their normal routine with any companions to make them feel secure. If your horse is usually stabled keep them stabled. If they are usually left in a field keep them there as long as it is safe, secure and not near any firework display areas
- Ensure that you or someone experienced stays with your horse if you know fireworks are being set off. This way you can observe their behaviour
- If you know your horse reacts badly to loud noises speak to your vet or consider moving your horse for the night
- Try and keep calm and positive as horses can sense unease un a person
- Be careful yourself. Try not to get in the way if your horse becomes startled
- Don’t take the risk of riding your horse if you know fireworks might be set off
- If it is necessary to leave your horse in the care of another person during a fireworks show, give clear instructions and contact details for yourself and vet for if any problems occur
Before letting your cat or dog out the following day, check for debris surrounding the house – fireworks can stay hot enough to burn a animals mouth for a long time and can also contain toxic metals.
Always remember that although fireworks may be fun for you, they are not fun for your pet!