An evening of fireworks and fun, Bonfire Night is something that families across the UK look forward to every year! However, the flashing lights across the night sky and unfamiliar, loud noises can prove stressful for our four-legged friends.
Bonfire Night is also just the beginning when it comes to fireworks. Large displays at New Years and sporadically throughout the winter months, can make it a scary time for many of our pets.
The RSPCA reports that nearly 50% of our dogs react in fear to the sound of fireworks. Many of our cats and other pets also become extremely stressed and anxious.
Luckily there are lots of things you can do to help keep your pet calm and feeling safe during the fireworks. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Inside, not out
It’s best to keep your pet indoors on Bonfire Night and on any night when you know fireworks are planned locally. This will keep them in your sight, should they need further support and will reduce the risk of them becoming stressed.
Remember to check that all your windows and doors remained closed for the duration.
2. Update their microchip information
In preparation for Bonfire Night, check that your pet’s collar fits properly and that their microchip details are accurate and up to date.
Should they panic and somehow manage to escape, it’s important that your up-to-date contact details are registered against your pet’s microchip, as this will help to ensure their safe return.
3. Consider pet calming products
We stock a range of fast-acting natural de-stress and calming products for dogs, cats, rabbits and other pets.
There are scent diffusers, which release calming pheromones, that only your pet can smell. These should ideally be plugged in from now until the end of the firework season. Some of these products also come in collars, wipes and sprays, making them ideal to use in many different situations.
Fast-acting supplements and herbal remedies are also available and can be used when needed throughout the season.
For those pets who experience severe stress and anxiety during the fireworks, there are also other stronger medications, which our vets can prescribe.
Our veterinary staff can help in finding the right product for your pet, so please don’t hesitate to ask us for advice.
4. Neighbourly check-in
Before the big night, ask your direct neighbours if they have any gatherings at their home planned for Bonfire Night that is likely to result in loud noises, explain that you have a nervous pet and want to be prepared.
5. Early routine
If you usually walk your dog in the late evening, it’s worth moving your daily routine early to avoid coming into contact with any noisy firework events.
Exercising your dog earlier in the day will also help to relax them, and hopefully result in a less stressful night.
6. Close the curtains
In a bid to help create a safe atmosphere for your pet, be sure to close all the curtains in your home. As well as being noisy, fireworks will also cause bright reflections across the building’s underneath them. By closing the curtains you’re minimising the risk of your pets becoming startled.
7. Turn up the volume!
Pick a movie, snuggle up with your pet and turn up the sound. The sound of your favourite flick will help mask any noise and fuss from outside your home. If your going out consider leaving the TV or radio on for your pet.
8. Fireworks, what fireworks?
Try to act normal whilst fireworks are going off, and don’t make a big fuss of your pet if they display signs of anxiety about the noise.
By rushing to comfort your pet you’re actually showing them that there’s something to be nervous about. The best thing to do is try to remain relaxed and act as normal as possible.
9. Make a safe space
When we feel anxious, we often retreat, and our pets are no different! Take the time before Bonfire Night to fashion and furnish a den for your furry friend. A hiding place can prove very valuable if they are spooked on the night and gives them a safe space that is all theirs.
Ensure that your pet also has easy access to their food and water.
10. Fear not
If you need urgent care out of hours for your pet, we take emergency calls until 10:00pm every night. If your pet is becoming severely distressed and you are worried, please call us before this time: 07754 676560
Preparation is key to navigating Bonfire Night with a happy and calm pet.
If you would like some advice or to discuss the range of de-stress and calming products available for your pet, please give us a call:
Tiptree Veterinary Centre 01621 818282
London Road Veterinary Centre – 01206 544918