Pets and fireworks

Petlog are reminding keepers to keep their pets safe ahead of this year’s Bonfire Night after seeing a large increase in lost and found pet calls to our emergency line on Guy Fawkes night last year.

It will be no surprise to learn of the increase as the loud noises associated with fireworks are well known to spook pets. We are reminded each year to keep pets safe inside, but still some pets unfortunately go missing. Petlog wants to ensure that keepers are well informed about what they can do to prevent their pet from straying and what course of action they need to take if the worst does happen.

It is also vital that your pet's contact details are up-to-date so if your pet does go missing we are able to optimise the chances of them being safely returned to you.

As Bonfire Night approaches people will be busy buying sparklers and fireworks but may forget about the traumatic effects the evening can have on pets. Here are our tips for reducing stress in pets:

Do

  • Make sure you shut all doors and windows in your home and don't forget to draw the curtains. This will block out any scary flashes of light and reduce the noise level of fireworks.
  • Try to act and behave as normal, as your pet will pick up on any odd behaviour. Remain calm, happy and cheerful as this will send positive signals to your pet.
  • Distract your pet from the noise by having the TV or the radio switched on.
  • Feed your pet a while before you expect any disturbances, as once the fireworks start your pet may be too anxious to eat.
  • Keep a collar on your dog or cat, just in case they do accidentally escape. Make sure they are microchipped too, as if they do escape without a collar on this will ensure you are reunited as quickly as possible and check your details are up-to-date by logging in to your Petlog Account.
  • Create a 'den' or 'safe place' to allow your pet to hide when they are scared. Allow your pet to use it in the weeks leading up to fireworks night and give them healthy treats as rewards for using it, this will help them create a positive association with the den.
  • If you are intending on leaving the house on fireworks night, make sure you get someone your pet is familiar with to pet-sit that evening.

Don't

  • Try and comfort your pet if they become distressed, as this may make the behaviour worse.
  • Try and tempt them out if he/she does retreat as this might cause more stress.
  • Take your dog to a firework display, even if your dog does not bark or whimper, don't assume he or she is happy. Excessive yawning and panting can indicate that your dog is stressed.
  • Tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off. 
  • Assume your garden is escape proof.  If your dog needs to go out keep him on a lead just in case.
  • Leave your pet on his own or in a separate room from you.
  • Try to force your pet to face their fears - they'll just become more frightened.
  • Forget to top up the water bowl. Anxious pets pant more and get thirsty.
  • Change routines more than necessary, as this can be stressful for some pets.
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