Bonfire night is fast approaching, and as the excitement builds, so can the worry for pet owners. Bonfires and fireworks are fun, but they can also be worrying, or even dangerous for your pets. At PCS, we have put together some things you need to know about keeping your pets safe on bonfire night:
Signs that your pet is scared
•Running away from you or hiding (particularly common in dogs)
•Scratching at doors or windows
•Urinating or defecating in the house (cats and dogs)
•Stamping their back feet (rabbits and guinea pigs)
•Agitated behaviour such as running up and down, chewing on things and/or pacing back and forth
So, what can you do to help your four-legged friend?
Keep your pets indoors in a safe space
If you can, keep your pets indoors in a safe space. You might want to consider temporarily moving small outdoor pets such as rabbits or guinea pigs indoors. Make sure the windows are closed and keep them away from doors, so they feel safe and secure.
A cosy den is also a great way to ensure that your pets have somewhere to hide – this could be somewhere that they tend to go when they feel scared, such as a crate, under tables, or behind sofas.
And don't forget about the noise! Loud noises from fireworks could frighten your pet into running off somewhere dangerous - or even cause permanent hearing damage for pets who have sensitive ears. Be sure to play some calming music to keep them occupied and muffle the sounds. Classic FM have a dedicated special programme from 5pm to 9pm on Saturday 4 November to Sunday 5 November, to play calming music for your pets.
Firework training for dogs
Did you know that you can practice desensitising your dog to fireworks and loud noises by introducing firework noises for dogs from a young age? This can be done to familiarise your dog with loud noises and can help them cope better with distressing noises.
Take a look at how firework noises for dogs can help your pooch!
How do I prepare horses for fireworks?
Unlike other small pets, it’s not as simple to keep horses safe and secure inside. Horses can easily be spooked by fireworks, so here are three suggestions for how to prepare your horse for bonfire night:
•Move your horse before a firework display, if there is one nearby
•Prepare their space
•Stay with your horse
Find out if there is a firework display taking place near where you keep your horse, so you can plan to move them in advance to a stable or another familiar environment.
Make sure you prepare their space by ensuring that their area is free of hazards. You don't want them to get hurt by running or bumping into in to something should they become distressed. Check your horse’s stable for anything that can cause injury, make sure all fences are fully secure, and remove any equipment they could run into (such as jumps left in their field).
If you are choosing to stay with your horse to keep them calm, remember that you must be calm too! They can sense if you are uneasy. Make sure they have access to a safe place where they can hide and be comfortable. Keeping stable lights on will lessen the flashing lights of fireworks and playing soothing music is a great way to mask the sound.
Microchipping is a safe and permanent way to identify your pet, should something go wrong and they become separated from you. It's a good idea for all pets, especially cats that like to be outdoors. It’s compulsory for dogs to be microchipped and this will also be a legal requirement for cats from 10 June 2024.
Cats and dogs are likely to flee if they become anxious, so if they are outside and become spooked by loud noises or flashing lights from fireworks, it would be helpful for them to have their microchip scanned so that they can easily be reunited with you.
Fire safety for your furry friends
Cats and other small pets can easily crawl into bonfire stacks before they are lit. Thoroughly check your bonfire beforehand with a pole or broom to avoid injury.
If you're going to use sparklers, then keep your pets indoors during this time, as they can get burned by running through them or chasing after them once they've been lit.
Wishing you a happy and safe Bonfire Night from PCS
We know how much you love your pets, so we want them to be safe on Bonfire Night. The best way is to make sure they have a place where they can be comfortable and away from all the noise and chaos.
We hope you have a purr-fect Bonfire Night!