Pet Advice night landscape with bonfire

Published on October 30th, 2013 | by Debbie Martin


How to Keep Your Pet Safe on Bonfire Night

Guy Fawkes Night can be a lot of fun for us humans. We love to have bonfires outdoors and light off exciting fireworks while laughing and socialising with our friends. However, this festive atmosphere can be quite alarming for your pets.

Keep in mind that your cat or dog’s hearing is several times more sensitive than yours, so your back garden fireworks party will sound to them like the world is coming to an end. Pets don’t understand what fireworks are, so a night filled with fire, crowds of people and loud explosions can send them into a panic.

The stress that bonfire night can cause in your pet can be very bad for them, even causing them to have an anxiety attack or nervous diarrhoea.  Also, if your pet becomes really spooked by the fireworks they could run away from home or even onto a busy road. Of course, you should always have your pet micro-chipped so that if they do escape from the house in fear you will be able to find them later.

So how can you keep your pet calm and safe during this noisy night? Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Keep Them Inside

Leaving your pet outside will be scary for them and it increases the risk that they will run away. Keep your pets inside the house and shut the windows and draw the curtains. This will help to muffle the loud sounds and keep them calmer.

It might also help to turn on the radio or the television to block out the noise of the fireworks outside. Your pet’s safe haven should be in a quiet room where they feel like they are safe. You can help to associate a certain room with a feeling of calm by leaving toys and food there. Cats like to hide themselves in small spaces which are high up, so you could place a cat bed on a cupboard or shelf.

Safety in Numbers

Sometimes nervous dogs will feel calmer if they are together with another dog that isn’t scared. If you know another dog that isn’t nervous about fireworks, you can keep the two together for the evening. They will be able to play and distract each other from the noises outside.

Keep Calm and Carry On

If you are stressed out or worried, your pet will pick up on your nervous energy and will feel even tenser. Even though you might be worried about your pet and want to reassure them, fussing over them will only make their fear more acute. Instead take deep breaths and stay calm around them.

Speak to them in a low, quiet reassuring voice and make your body movements and gestures slow and deliberate. Your pet looks to you for guidance, so if you are not showing any fear it will help to put them at ease.

You can also make use of products that are on the market such as Feliway and Adaptil, these products use natural pheromones and have been proven to help with a variety of behavioural issues as well as the fear of fireworks, for more info take a look at our website.

With a little tender loving care, you can help your nervous pet cope with bonfire night and feel safe and secure.

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About the Author

Debbie Martin has worked at Beeston Animal Health for over five years, having previously worked as a nurse in equine and small animal practice. Although generally involved with aspects of marketing these days and putting her psychology degree to good use, she still has a great depth of up to date knowledge in all creatures great and small. Debbie lives at home with her partner and two children and spends much of her spare time looking after her horses, dogs and cats or at the home farm with the cows, sheep and turkeys.

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