Fireworks are incredibly scary and stressful for most of our pets. Particularly in the days surrounding Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Year, we receive a number of phone calls from concerned pet owners with anxious or frightened pets. However, measures can be taken in the home to lessen the fear during fireworks season.

Our main advice for all pet owners is to make sure that their pet’s microchip details are up to date with your correct address and contact details. You can check this via the PetLogs website here.

If your pet is particularly frightened, we advise you to prepare in advance with some of the following techniques:

For Dogs

  • Create quiet hiding spaces around your home where your dog can feel safe and secure.
  • Close all the windows and external doors to muffle the fireworks noise, but do leave internal doors open to let your dog move through the house as they would normally be able. You can also turn up the TV or radio to mask the sound.
  • Walk your dog during daylight hours before fireworks are likely to be set off. If you must walk your dog after dark, make sure that they are kept on the lead at all times. The loud and sudden bangs often spook dogs and they may become disorientated or run away in fear.
  • Comfort your pet if they are scared, this will help reassure them that they are okay. Do not scold them if they are behaving erratically as doing so will only increase their anxiety.
  • You can also distract your dog by feeding them treats or playing with them whilst the fireworks are going off.

For Cats

  • Keep your cat indoors, especially at night time. The loud and sudden bangs can frighten or disorientate them and they often become lost, or cannot find their way home.
  • Close and cover all of the windows in your house – but do allow access for them to move through all of the safe areas in your house. Confining cats to one area may increase their stress.
  • Create a safe hiding place, such as in a box or crate filled with blankets, treats and toys. It is a good idea to place this box higher up in your home, as cats feel safer when they are raised above the ground.
  • Remember to provide litter trays.
  • Turn on the TV, radio or music to muffle the sound of the fireworks. You can also distract them with treats or games.
  • Finally, behave as you usually would around your pet. If you are stressed, watching them very closely, or being overly affectionate then they will sense that something is wrong.

For Small Animals

  • If possible, bring any outdoor hutches or cages inside. Where you are unable to do this, partly cover over the cage with large heavy blankets so that there is still an airflow, but the sounds and flashes are lessened.
  • Ensure that your pet’s cage has places in which it can hide and provide extra bedding to dull the noise.
  • If you are able to bring them indoors, close all curtains and windows and turn on the T.V. or radio to dull the noise.
  • Rabbits and guinea pigs are very sociable animals so keep them together or with a person who they are comfortable with. This will help them stay calm and feel safe.

If your pet is particularly anxious around fireworks season and you feel that they may need additional help, we strongly recommend that you get in touch with the practice, a few weeks prior to the fireworks period. You can call us on 0141 339 1228, to speak to a member of the team.

Additional Fireworks Safety Resources: