Pets and fireworks
At this time of year, fireworks are not the reserve of organised displays for Bonfire night and Diwali and this can prove a distressing time for animals. Many find the loud bangs and unexpected flashes frightening. There are measure you can take to help keep your pet safe and calm.
Provide a safe haven for them. A quiet place in your home that has toys and treats that they look forward to being in. Don’t overly fuss your pet when they are in that area. Reinforce it as a positive experience where they can go should the need arise.
Play calming music or put on the TV playing show your dog seems to like.
Walk your dog during the day.
When it gets dark, shut your curtains and close windows and make your pups ‘safe haven’ available.
Get the humans in the house to ignore the fireworks but be in the same room as your pet.
Pheromone diffusers can also help calm dogs.
Keep your pet inside after dusk.
Let your cat hide if they choose to. Don’t try to tempt them out or overly comfort them as this can exasperate stress.
Pheromone sprays and diffusers can be helpful for felines.
Like with dogs, draw curtains and try to muffle out sound.
If your pets are housed outside, think about bringing them inside or into an outhouse.
If they remain outdoors, cover hutches or cages to help drown out noise but leave a gap for them to be able to see.
Provide denser bedding material so they can burrow if they wish too.
Of course, it’s not just pet animals who are affected by fireworks, equines, farm animals and wildlife can become very stressed too.
How you can help
The impact fireworks have on animals is undeniable but by attending an organised display can minimise the distress as it means less individual parties. If you are having a bonfire, please check it before lighting for sleeping mammals and amphibians who may be sheltering.
You can also get involved in helping us change firework laws to protect animals by joining the RSPCA’s campaign.