Bonfire Night 2019: This is how to keep pets safe ahead of and during this evening's fireworks

Loud bangs and flashes created by fireworks can frighten dogs, cats and small animals, so pet experts have advised owners to take precautions and plan ahead to help keep animals calm during Guy Fawkes Night.

By Colin Ainscough
Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 12:45 pm
Loud bangs and flashes created by fireworks can frighten dogs, cats and small animals.
Loud bangs and flashes created by fireworks can frighten dogs, cats and small animals.

Whilst fun to watch for humans, fireworks can cause misery to furry four-legged friends – dogs and cats in particular.

Pets have been known to jump fences and run away in a bid to escape the deafening bangs and bright lights of fireworks, so it’s important to try and keep them as calm and relaxed as possible.

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A spokesperson for Pure Pet Food said: “Animals have heighted senses and their hearing in particular is much stronger than ours. A dog’s hearing is twice as sensitive as a human’s for example, and a cat’s three times!

“So, it’s no surprise that a bang from a firework can be frightening for pets. Not to mention the fact that they don’t really understand where it’s coming from – or why.

“It goes without saying that you should always keep your dogs and cats inside when fireworks are being let off, and if possible, bring any small animals that live outside, like rabbits and guinea pigs, indoors too.

“If you can’t bring their hutch inside, you should turn its enclosure around so that it faces a wall or fence instead of the open garden, and cover it with thick blankets and tarpaulin to block out the sight of fireworks and muffle the sound of the bangs. But remember to leave enough ventilation!”

Here is some helpful advice ahead of tonight

1. Water

Top up your pet’s water bowl – dog’s in particular. Anxious dogs pant more and get thirsty.

2. Walk

Take your dog for a walk before it starts to get dark, as it might be a while before it’s safe for them to venture outside again to go to the toilet!

3. Security

Make sure you shut all of the doors and windows in your home and don’t forget to draw the curtains. This will help to block out any flashes of light and reduce the noise level of fireworks.

4. Den

Use your dog’s favourite blankets, toys, or an unwashed item of your clothing to make them a little den in a quiet corner of your house. This could help them feel safer and more secure.

Advice during fireworks

1. Distract

Switch the TV or radio on to try and distract your pet from the noise outside.

2. Let them hide

Your pet might choose to hide under the bed or behind other furniture, but don’t even try and tempt them out, as this could cause them more stress. And if they come to you for comfort, make sure you give it them.

3. Act normal

Try to act as normal, as your pet will pick up on any unusual behaviour. Be calm, happy and cheerful as this will send positive signals to your pet.

4. Company

Avoid leaving your pet alone when fireworks are going off near your house, and if you do have to leave, don’t get angry with your pet if you find they’ve been destructive or messed in the house – shouting at a frightened pet will only make them more stressed.