1st November 2023
As the autumn leaves fall and a chilly breeze fills the air, the countdown to one of the most anticipated nights of the year begins – Bonfire Night! It’s time to wrap up warm, watch the firework displays light up the sky and warm up by the bonfire.
Whilst for so many it’s a night to look forward to, for animal lovers and households with pets, it can be a time of year fraught with anxiety and apprehension. The explosive bursts of colour and noise can have a very different effect on our four-legged friends, leaving them distressed, and often bewildered.
The expert team at our Animal Unit has put together a useful guide to help you take steps to safeguard your pets at this distressing time.
Read on for helpful tips and strategies to guide you through some of the challenges of Bonfire Night.
1. Create a Safe Space
Before the fireworks begin, set up a cosy quiet space in your home to provide your pet with a retreat to hide away from the noise and retain a sense of comfort. A favourite blanket and toys can make all the difference in making them feel safe and secure.
Where possible, select a room with the fewest windows and best sound insulation.
2. Mask the Noise as Much as Possible
Make sure all curtains and windows are closed throughout the house to minimise the impact of noise and bright flashes. Although there is no stopping the booms and bangs, playing calming music or turning on the television can help in muting the external noises, making them less distressing for your pets.
3. Stay Home with Your Pets
If possible, stay at home with your pets during the fireworks displays. Your presence can provide comfort and reassurance, and you’ll be on hand to respond to any signs of distress. To help your pet stay calm, engage them in activities they enjoy such as playing with their favourite toy or giving them tasty treats. Distraction can work wonders in reducing anxiety.
4. Change Walk Times
Plan your dog walks earlier in the day when the likelihood of fireworks being set off is lower. This helps in reducing the chances of an unexpected fright during a walk.
5. Try Calming Products
There are a growing number of specialist products including sprays and treats that may be helpful in calming your pet. Things like anxiety wraps, pheromone diffusers or calming treats may help to reduce stress and anxiety, particularly during noisy events.
6. Consult Your Vet
If your pet’s anxiety during Bonfire Night has previously been severe, consider speaking with your vet. They can provide guidance on medication or other options to help your pet cope.
We hope that these tips are helpful in making Bonfire Night less stressful for you and your beloved pets.