Fireworks can make your pet frightened, anxious and cause them to behave in unpredictable ways. Around Bonfire Night, New Year’s Eve and other festivals such as Diwali and Independence Day, it’s important for keepers to plan and prepare so that pets are as safe and relaxed as possible when the loud noises and flashes of light start.
Top tips before the night
- Get your pet used to firework noises. You can get CDs or download audio content online that helps familiarise your pet with these sounds in a controlled setting. Below is The Kennel Club fireworks playlist that you can use
- Ensure your house and garden are secure to reduce the risk of your pet escaping
- Make sure your pet’s microchip details are up to date by asking your vet or an authorised agent to scan and check them. This makes reunification easier should your pet get spooked and run away. It is also a legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped and owner’s current contact details recorded on a government-compliant database. Petlog Premium allows you to update your records as many times as is needed throughout the lifetime of your pet for a one-off fee of £17
- Always seek advice from a behaviourist if your pet is extremely anxious or scared by sudden, loud noises and/or flashing lights
Top tips on the night
- Keep your pet inside when possible. If your pet needs to go outside to the toilet, take them before it gets dark. Try to bring any hutches or cages for small animals inside the house, garage or shed before dusk on nights when you expect fireworks
- Ensure your house is secure by closing all windows, doors and cat/dog flaps to reduce the risk of your pet escaping. You could even draw the curtains or put the blinds down so that your pet is less likely to be startled by any sudden flashes of light
- Create a safe space for your pet with blankets and/or bedding so they can hide themselves and feel protected when scared
- Try and stay with your pet on nights where fireworks are likely to be set off. Having you as company should make them feel more relaxed
- Distract your pet with a game, toys or treats. You could also play some music or switch on the TV or radio when fireworks are set off to provide some normality and let your pet hear noises that they are familiar with
If you’re hosting a fireworks celebration, it’s a good idea to let your neighbours know in advance so they can make sure their pets are safe and comfortable.
For more information on reasons why your pet could be scared of fireworks and ways you can help them feel more relaxed, take a look at The Kennel Club website.