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The College of Animal Welfare

bonfire night fireworks
bonfire night fireworks

Top tips to help your pets cope with bonfire night!

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While we humans enjoy watching fireworks, they can be very stressful for unsuspecting pets. So, with bonfire night fast approaching, make sure to have fun responsibly by taking care of your pets to help them feel safe around fireworks.

Top tips for dogs and cats

  • Keep cats and dogs inside when fireworks are let off. Walk your dog earlier rather than later – fireworks are less likely to be set off during daylight
  • Think about preparing a safe space or den that they can hide in for when the fireworks start to feel more secure and comfortable. When it starts to get dark, close all the curtains, shut windows and doors and block off cat flaps. Consider putting the TV or some music on; all of these things will help to mask the loud noises.
  • Before the fireworks start, make sure that your dog or cat’s surroundings are secure and that they won’t be able to escape if they become stressed.
  • Try to stay calm and act normally. It is ok to comfort your pet if it helps them, but others may prefer to hide and be left alone and that is ok too.

Top tips for small animals

  • Where possible hutches/cages should be bought inside on bonfire night into a quiet room or garage; it is best to gradually accustom your pet to this ahead of the day.
  • If you cannot bring your pet inside then covering aviaries or hutches with thick blankets can block out the sight and sounds of the fireworks, but make sure there is still enough ventilation!
  • Make sure they have plenty of extra bedding which they can hide in if they need to.

It’s not just pets we need to think of!

  • Piles of leaves and wood are the perfect nesting spot for a hedgehog. So if you’re planning on lighting a bonfire, collect the leaves and wood on the same day to avoid any hedgehogs taking shelter there. You should also check for any hiding animals before lighting the bonfire just to be sure.
  • Litter and debris produced from fireworks can be harmful to animals, so make sure you clean up afterwards and dispose of the rubbish appropriately.

For even more information on how to keep your pets stress free this bonfire night, take a look at the Blue Cross website!

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