Top Tips for Pet Owners this Firework Night

October 30, 2018

large firework, top tips for pet owners when dealing with firework displays

Creating a Safe Space for Cats and Dogs on Firework Night 

Walk your dog early and in daylight. If they are out when it starts to get dark they might be jittery and nervous as their senses are heightened and will be aware of unusual sights and smells. If you need to pop into a shop make sure you have someone with your pet whilst you run your errand to reassure them that everything is okay. Never take them to a firework display. Just because they are keeping quiet doesn't mean they are happy and calm in the situation. 

It is best to stay home with your pet and praise them for good and calm behaviour. Keep pets distracted: reassure them with praise and cuddles. If they are being overly dependent this is because they feel you are a safe place and is a positive thing for the pet.  Research the times of local firework displays in your area and make sure to keep them indoors. If you have to leave, be prepared for them to act out in a negative manner such as having an accident in the house or tearing at furniture. This is due to them feeling stressed, shouting at them will only make the situation worse and frighten them more. 

You may want to consider using a relaxant remedy or maybe stockpiling their favourite Treats if your dog or cat is so distressed that they are doing themselves harm. It is best to talk this through with your vet a few weeks beforehand, however. 

How Can I Prepare my Home? 

  • Close curtains, and windows, 
  • Block off cat flaps or dog flaps so they won't escape,
  • Make sure they are wearing ID so that if they did make their way out they can be found and brought home easier.
  • Put on the tv or music to help mask the bang of a fire work.
  • Put down a full bowl of water and food as Pets like dogs and cats drink more when stressed. 
  • Make a safe space den which has some clothing with 'your smell' on them. 

If your pet is whining, pacing, hiding or are showing physical anxiety, let your pet act this way, do not try to break their coping mechanism, let it play out. Be near them if they want you, but do not try to disturb them, it is just their way of trying to feel safe. 


black cat sitting in the dark

Creating a Safe Space for Small Pets on Firework Night 

  • Bring hutches and cadges indoors or into a shed or garage if they are normally outside.
  • If this is not possible, turn their hutch around so that they are facing the wall instead of the open surrounding area.
  • Cover the hutch or cadge with a blanket to lessen the harsh light of the fireworks and quieting the bangs.
  • Lay down extra bedding so that they can burrow into it if they feel frightened as this will comfort them.
  • If they have a companion that they are usually with during the day 


Creating a Safe Space for Horses on Firework Night 

  • Fireworks should never be set off near a place where live stock live. If you are concerned let local organisers and neighbours that may hold a firework display know that there are animals living near by. They should relocate to be further away at a safe distance and set up their fireworks to go off in the opposite direction.  
  • Keep your horse in their usual routine and environment. If they spend the night in the field, keep them in the field as long as it is safe - fences are secure and there are no firework displays in the local area. If they are usually spend the night in the stables, keep them in and provide extra bedding. 
  • If you know your horse reacts badly to loud noises talk to your vet about calming medication or see if you can move your horse to a quieter area. 
  • Be careful yourself, never ride your horse if you think fireworks will be going off as this can startle them and they might bolt suddenly. 
  • If they have a companion that they get on well with and are used to being around it might be worth putting the two together to keep them both calm. 
  • If you know fireworks are going to be let off near the stables, make sure there is someone who is experienced on standby. 

Overall try to keep an upbeat and calm vibe for your pets as they look to you for grounding and if they see you panic or worried for their safety this will cause them to feel less safe than they actually are. 

"Blue Cross advises that all pet owners seek veterinary help for their animal six to 12 weeks before the firework season begins. Behavioural advice for your pet needs to be sought three to six months in advance."



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