Many animals find fireworks scary and stressful. In fact, it’s estimated that 45 per cent of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks. Thankfully there are also lots of simple things you can do to help your pet deal with fireworks, and by preparing in advance before fireworks start your pet will be better able to cope with the noises.
Top tips on how to keep your animals safe and happy
- Make sure your dog or cat always has somewhere to hide if he or she wants to, and has access to this place at all times. For example, this could be under some furniture or in a cupboard. Cat owners do not try and tempt your cat out as this will cause them to become more stressed.
- During firework seasons, walk dogs during daylight hours and keep cats and dogs indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off.
- At nightfall, close windows and curtains to black out flashing light and put on music to mask and muffle the sound of fireworks.
- If your pet shows any signs of fear try to ignore their behaviour. Leave them alone unless they are likely to harm themselves.
- Never punish or fuss over your pet when it’s scared as this will only make things worse in the long run.
- Make sure your cat or dog is always kept in a safe and secure environment and can’t escape if there’s a sudden noise. Have your pet micro-chipped in case they do escape.
- If you know a dog that isn’t scared by noises and which gets on well with your dog, then keeping the two together during the evenings may help yours.
- Don’t forget small animals. If your pets live outside, partly cover cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one area is well sound-proofed. Make sure that your pet is still able to look out. Provide lots of extra bedding so your pet has something to burrow in.
- Bonfires can be fatal for wild animals such as hedgehogs because a pile of leaves or wood is an attractive nesting place. Build a bonfire as near as possible to the time of lighting and disturb the bonfire – preferably by moving it, before lighting – checking carefully for animals hiding inside. Remember that some animals, like hedgehogs, may be hibernating and will not be immediately obvious.