Fireworks and pets

Fireworks and your pets

5 mins read

With fireworks night happening tomorrow, fireworks will go off frequently (frequency and volume depend on location). The loud abrupt bangs can be very frightening for your pets.

This article will discuss how to comfort and care for your pets when this happens. As well as general tips on how to be mindful during this fireworks season.

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Facts and figures

The Kennel Club found that 80 per cent of dog owners notice a significant difference in their pet’s behaviour during fireworks.

A further 75 per cent find that their pet’s mood changes, and 33 per cent say their pet is terrified of fireworks.

Animals have sensitive hearing, so the loud abrupt bangs can cause intense fear.

Some animals’ instincts may be to run, this could result in them going missing (100 per cent increase in dogs going missing from 2019 to 2020) or running into traffic or into any form of danger.

Fear of fireworks can present in many ways for animals, such as:

  • Shaking
  • Crying or barking
  • Soil themselves
  • Destroy furniture
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Pacing
  • Panting

This list is not exhaustive.

Classic FM found that 69 per cent of adults in the UK take at least one technique to calm their pets during fireworks night.

So, what can you do to help your pets and the animals around you?

Dogs

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What can you do to help your dog during fireworks?

  • Walk them during daylight and avoid times when fireworks are likely to go off
  • Create a safe space for them
  • Fill their space with their favourite toys and treats
  • Put music or the TV on to mask the bangs of the fireworks
  • Ignore the noise and try to distract them with toys
  • But do not force them to play
  • Try and associate the night with their favourite things

Cats

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What can you do to help your cat during fireworks?

  • Provide hiding safe spaces within the house
  • Don’t stress your cat by trying to force them out of these places
  • Leave them until they are ready to come out
  • Keep your cats indoors to avoid them going missing or being injured in accidents
  • Ensure they are microchipped in case they do run outside

Small animals

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What can you do for your small animals during fireworks?

  • Partly cover cages to attempt to soundproof
  • Provide spaces in cage to burrow into
  • Bring them inside if you can
  • If you do ensure they are comfortable indoors and ease them into it well in advance of fireworks night

Horses

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What can you do for your horses during fireworks?

  • Know if there are fireworks near the area
  • Get in touch with organisers of the nearby event
  • Get advice from the British Horse Society (BHS)

More advice

If your pet is really struggling with firework phobia, you can get in touch with your vet for advice and treatments. This could be for calming them or for a referral to an animal behaviourist specialist.

Never punish your pets for being scared – if they tarnish furniture, soil themselves or even attack you. This will only enhance their fear.

Most of us enjoy fireworks night, but there are ways you can help animals while doing so.

  • Attend an organised event instead of private fireworks at your home
  • Only set off fireworks on or around holidays – this gives pet owners time to prepare as they know to expect it
  • If you set off your own fireworks, avoid areas with livestock or places known for wildlife
  • Check bonfires for wildlife before lighting them
Image credit: Pexels.com

Final notes

Many of us enjoy fireworks night, but this can be the most stressful time of the year for all animals: pets and wildlife. Please be mindful and talk all the precautions you can.

Feature Image Credit: Canva

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Final year Biology & Psychology student with a keen interest in music, food and lifestyle pieces.

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