Bonfire Night, with its dazzling fireworks and roaring bonfires, can be a joyous occasion for us humans, but it can be a frightening and stressful time for our furry friends. The loud noises and bright lights can cause anxiety and fear in pets. However, with some careful planning and thoughtful precautions, you can keep your pets safe and comfortable during this annual celebration. In this blog, we’ll share some essential tips and tricks to ensure your pets have a stress-free Bonfire Night.
Create a Safe Haven
Designate a quiet and secure space in your home where your pets can retreat during the festivities. Make this space cosy by adding their favourite blankets, toys, and some soothing background noise, like soft music or a white noise machine. Encourage your pets to spend time there before the fireworks begin, so they associate it with safety and comfort.
Keep Pets Indoors
On Bonfire Night, it’s best to keep your pets indoors. Fireworks can startle even the bravest of animals, and the safest place for them is inside your home. Ensure all doors and windows are securely closed, and use curtains or blinds to minimise the visibility of the bright lights outside.
Identification and Microchipping
Make sure your pets are properly identified with collars and tags that have your contact information. If they’re not already microchipped, consider getting this done as it provides an extra layer of security in case they get lost due to fear and confusion during the fireworks.
Exercise Early in the Day
Before the evening festivities begin, take your dog for a long walk or play an extended session of fetch to tire them out. A tired pet is generally calmer and less likely to be as reactive to loud noises.
Avoid Taking Pets to Fireworks Displays
Never take your pets to a fireworks display, even if they seem calm in other loud situations. The sudden loud noises can cause panic, and they may run away in fear, becoming lost or injured.
Stay Calm and Comforting
Your pets look to you for comfort and reassurance. During fireworks, remain calm and speak to them in soothing tones. Avoid scolding or punishing them for anxious behaviour, as this can worsen their anxiety. Instead, offer gentle pets and cuddles if they seek your comfort.
Consider Calming Aids
If your pet has severe anxiety during fireworks, consult with your veterinarian about using calming aids. Some pets may benefit from anxiety-reducing medications or natural supplements like CBD oil or pheromone diffusers designed for pets.
Check the Garden
If you have a cat or small dog, ensure that your garden is secure, and there are no gaps in fences or gates. Terrified pets might attempt to escape from the noise, putting them in danger.
Plan for Future Events
Bonfire Night is just one of many potentially stressful events for pets. Consider investing in desensitisation and counter-conditioning training to help your pets become more comfortable with loud noises over time. This can be beneficial for future fireworks displays and thunderstorms.
Bonfire Night can be a challenging time for our beloved pets, but with careful planning and a few precautions, you can ensure their safety and comfort. By providing a safe haven, keeping pets indoors, ensuring proper identification, exercising them early, offering comfort, and consulting your vet if needed, you can make the night less stressful and more enjoyable for both you and your furry companions. Remember, a little extra care goes a long way in keeping your pets safe during the festivities.