October 1st 2021

Animal Safety and Firework Season

As the winter nights draw in and the misty, cold evenings surround us, the season of autumn is full of many promises and festivities. Bonfire night, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are nights full of excitement and fun for humans, but for animals in can be rather the opposite.

In today’s blog entry, we cover the importance of animal safety and share our advice on what you can do to make the evening less stressful for your animals. 

Did you know fireworks can reach up to 150 decibels? This roughly equates to the loudness of a jet engine and, with animals particularly sensitive to noise, the unexpected sounds and bright lights can be upsetting and traumatic. In the current fireworks season, vets are encouraging pet owners and animal keepers to prepare to prevent possible injury and distress to their pets and livestock during these festivities.

The BVA is encouraging pet owners and livestock keepers to consult with their vet as far in advance as possible to discuss management and treatment options if their animals get severely distressed by fireworks or other noises. A phobia of fireworks can be treated with appropriate behaviour-modification techniques, which can achieve long-term success with professional input and owner commitment and patience. For now, what can you do to help to keep your animals safe?

Top tips to keep animals safe:

  • If your pet gets distressed by fireworks or other noises, contact your local vet to discuss treatment options. This may include drugs to help dogs with noise phobias or pheromone products to apply next to your pets’ den and around the house to keep them calm.
  • Create a well-padded den for your pet to access ahead of fireworks season so they have a safe place to hide when fireworks start.
  • Ensure your pet is microchipped and your details are up to date on the database, in case it runs away from home.
  • Move small pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs indoors.
  • Close windows and curtains and provide background noise to help mask the fireworks.
  • Keep livestock housed at times when fireworks are likely to be set off locally and remove any firework debris from grazing pasture before letting them out.
  • Horses may be better turned out in a field than stabled, as in a stable they may feel enclosed and unable to move.
  • If you’re hosting a fireworks display, avoid setting them off near horses, livestock or companion animals. Dispose of any debris and remnants of fireworks responsibly.
  • Before lighting a bonfire, remember to check for any wild animals that may be hiding in it.

Ahead of winter festivities, it is important to spare a thought to our animals and pets who may be startled and scared at the sounds. For further information, consult your vet who can offer tailored advice for your pet and situation. 

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