Bonfire night is a scary time for animals what with all of the loud noises and bright, flashing lights from the fireworks. We have created this infographic to help you when looking after your pet not only on Bonfire Night ,but the days surrounding the event, so that they can stay as happy and settled as possible.
Whilst Fireworks Night is fun for humans, pets and fireworks do not mix well. Statistically more pets are reported missing on bonfire night than any other night. So here are our tips to help keep them safe, secure and settled.
You should have the following information readily available to you at all times (storing it on your smartphone is a great way to do this): your pet’s microchip number/microchip database, local dog warden’s number, local police contact, a clear photograph of your pet, access to missing pet websites.
Pets and fireworks is not the best combination. Playing sounds of fireworks in the days leading up to Bonfire Night can help to acclimatise a pet to the noise, so that when the night comes around they are less affected. However, only you will know what kind of disposition your pet has and you should only try this if you feel that they won’t become distressed. In addition, do not play the sounds at the same volume as real fireworks, start off with a very low level and gradually increase the samples throughout the days.
If you have an outdoor cat then provide a litter tray for them well in advance of 5thNovember. This will allow them to recognise it’s there and means they’ll have a place to use as a toilet whilst they are kept indoors.
Speak To Your Vet
If your pet is particularly sensitive to loud noises or flashing lights then ask your veterinary practice for help. They’ll be able to refer a behaviourist to speak to for advice or discuss the possibility of any medication for pets who simply find the night too traumatic.
Plug-in pheromone products such as ‘Feliway’ can help cats to relax and are available to buy from your vet, if you want to use one then have them installed and in place a few days before.
Throughout The Day
Take your dog for an extra-long walk at an earlier time in the day than usual and feed them well upon your return; a happy and tired dog will be more relaxed and easier to settle. If you’re a cat owner then make sure that your pet is home safely before dark by offering food much earlier than usual.
Secure and Settling Environment
Once your pet is back home ensure that all of the doors (including cat-flaps) are secured and the curtains are drawn. Set your pet up in a room with their bed, favourite toys, litter tray and other essential items. It can be a great idea to have them in the living room so that you can keep them company throughout the night.
During The Fireworks
During the night’s festivities it can be easier for your pet if you stay with them. Try to drown out the noise of the fireworks with a more comfortable sound such as the television or radio, all the time talking to your pet and reassuring them.
Let Your Pet Be Themselves
If your pet runs and hides under or behind furniture, then let them stay there as it will make them feel safe and secure. Do not try and force them out from their ‘safe-space’ as this could confuse them or cause them further distress.
Be Prepared To Sleep On The Sofa
Depending on the level of anxiety or stress shown by your pet, you may have to resign yourself to sleeping in the living room with them. An alternative could be to set them up for the evening in your bedroom, providing you have a television, radio or some other form of distracting noise to dampen the aural impact of fireworks.
The Days Following 5th November
Remember remember that if the 5th of November falls on a weekday then the festivities will usually take place the Saturday before, and/or following. You’ll need to keep this in mind and stay vigilant throughout the whole week.