Blue Cross blog
Keeping your pets safe on fireworks nightPosted on 27 Sep 2010
Fireworks night can be a frightening time for animals but there are things you can do to help them.
Birds and small pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice and ferrets are easily frightened by fireworks. Here are some tips:
- Bring their hutches/cages indoors – into a quiet room, garage or shed
- If you can’t bring them inside, turn their enclosure around so it faces a wall or fence instead of the open garden
- Give them extra bedding to burrow into so they feel safe
- Cover any aviaries/hutches with thick blankets or a duvet to block out the sound of the bangs and the sight of the fireworks but make sure there’s enough ventilation
If you have dogs or cats, here are some top tips:
- Always keep them inside when fireworks are being let off
- Make sure your dog is walked earlier in the day before the fireworks start
- Close all windows and doors and block off catflaps to stop pets escaping and keep noise to a minimum
- Draw the curtains
- If your animals are used to the sounds of TV or radio switch them on to block out some of the noise (not too loudly though)
- Make sure your pet is wearing some form of easily readable identification
- Prepare a den for your pet where they can feel safe – perhaps under a bed with some of your old clothes. They may want to hide when the fireworks start.
- Let them pace around, whine, miaow and hide in a corner if they want to. Don’t try to coax them out or cuddle/comfort them.
- If they think you’re worried too this can make them feel even worse so stay relaxed, act normally and praise calm behaviour
- Try not to leave your pet alone and if you do have to go out, don’t be angry if you find they’ve been destructive when you get back
- Don’t tie your dog up outside, leave them in the garden or in your car during the fireworks
- Don’t take your dog with you to a fireworks display
Here’s some advice if you have a horse or pony:
- Try to make sure fireworks aren’t set off near your horse’s field or stable – tell neighbours and local fireworks display organizers that there are horses nearby
- Keep your horse in a familiar environment and a normal routine with companions to make them feel secure. If they’re normally out in the field, keep them there as long as it’s safe, secure and not near the fireworks display area.
- If you know your horse reacts badly to loud noises, it might be worth speaking to your vet or considering moving them for a night
- Try to stay calm and positive as horses can sense your unease
- Don’t try to get in the way if your horse gets frightened as you may get hurt