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My pet hates fireworks – Guide to keeping pets calm on Bonfire night


My pet, along with most if not all pets, hates fireworks. The noise which excites their owners so much, stresses their animals out as they have no idea why it is happening. Moreover, animals tend to have better hearing than us, like dogs, so for them, it is twice as scary.

Thus, every responsible owner, or even a compassionate fellow creature, needs to make their pet comfy on those few occasions when fireworks just can’t be avoided, like Bonfire night or New Year’s Eve.

You may not be able to reassure them that everything will be ok, but in your demeanour and with a few hacks, you can make the next Bonfire more enjoyable, or at least less stressful, for your pet.

Act normal and occupy them

Though in many ways you will have to change your behaviour, try to limit any changes as much as possible. Don’t stress out too much about how your pet will act during the firing as they can feel anxiety and tension, just like humans can.

One thing you can do is occupy them more. You might not be able to go out for too long, but you can spend time inside together. Depending on what kind of animal you have a dog or a cat, a rabbit or a parrot, or something else, your activities together can differ, but the point is to keep them occupied. Teach them new tricks and games but also used their old toys they are already familiar with.

Block out the noise and flashing lights

While you have to act as if it is just another day, you will have to prepare your home for the noise to come. Normally your pet has a few typical spots, he or she visits. To minimize their exposure to noise and flashing lights you might want to consider blocking some of them so as to lessen the risk.

If they prefer a particular room, you can pull down the blinds in it. That will completely obstruct the flashing light but it will also decrease noise considerably.

You can also choose one of the spots which is furthest away from windows and outside noise. Make it extra comfy and it might serve as their pet escape zone.

There are some noise and flashing images they are already used to, like the telly. Turn on your TV instead of creating a zone of silence. Firstly, it will be more natural to your pet and though telly noise won’t mask the noise outside, it can distract your pet from what is going out there.

You can do the same with radio or stereo, but putting on something on the screen like your PC might distract them visually too.

Check your yard fence and their collar

Your house is secured, now more on to the garden. As some animals tend to panic when they hear fireworks fired, they might instinctively run away. To prevent them from doing that and, more importantly, getting lost, make sure your fences are secured and there are no holes they can escape through.

To be extra sure, you ought to check your pet’s collar or chip. Update or rewrite information if need be, as it will be the best way to get them back in case they do somehow manage to escape.

Keep them inside more

All is secure, but you should still try to keep your pet inside as much as possible. Though you shouldn’t completely forbid them from going into your yard, you should limit the duration. Especially in the evening try to keep them inside, to protect them from the noise and lights but also from injury.

It is less likely that they will be injured by a rocket or a barrage but they might try to run away from the noise source and cut themselves on the fence as they try to escape.

Build up immunity

As some animals can experience considerable trauma due to fireworks, experts recommend introducing your pet to noise weeks before expected holiday noise. During that time, you can subtly increase the noise levels and by the time Bonfire night begins they will be much better prepared to deal with the situation.

Of course, getting your pet more accustomed to noise won’t eliminate the need for other preparations and it certainly will not make them love noise all of a sudden, but it will significantly decrease the possibility of stressing out.

Get some help from the vet

If everything else fails, you can always turn to your vet for some advice. There might be additional steps you might have to make if your pet already had some problems dealing with stress. Perhaps they just hate fireworks, but it is possible that they have a trauma connected to them or something similar. Whatever the reason, in extreme cases in which you cannot help your pet, a vet might have some answers.

There are even remedies you can buy from your local vet or online and which will allow them to relax.

Though our pets don’t share our enthusiasm for cakes, barrages, and rockets, that doesn’t mean we cannot pursuit some pet-friendly fireworks festivities. The important thing is to balance between keeping things casual, so the pet doesn’t notice that something is or will be going on, and noise-and-lights-proofing your home. The best way to go about things is to keep them inside as much as possible and to occupy them. This is especially important in the evening when the real party starts.

Before the festivities make sure all possible escape routes are sealed and, just in case, your pet’s info on their microchip or collar is up to date. Likewise, you can get your pet used to noise with some training so that Bonfire is not too stressful for them.

As there will always be those animals that have a particular problem will all forms of fireworks, you can consult your veterinarian and, maybe, get some medicine to help them keep their cool.