Editorial Pet Care

FIREWORKS: Advice for protecting your pets this Bonfire Night…

Firework Advice for Pets

Animals have very acute hearing. Loud bangs and whistles may cause them actual pain in their ears. But by following these simple guidelines your pet need not suffer.

Small Pets

  • Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, ferrets and birds all need to be treated with special care when fireworks are being let off. These animals are easily frightened. Blue Cross advises that owners of such types of small animal should follow these precautions:
    • Hutches/cages and enclosures should, if possible, be brought into a quiet room indoors, or into a garage or shed.
    • Give your pet extra bedding to burrow into so it feels safe.
    • If you cannot bring your pet’s hutch inside, you should turn its enclosure around so that it faces a wall or fence instead of the open garden.
    • Cover any aviaries or hutches with thick blankets or a duvet to block out the sight of the fireworks and deaden the sound of the bangs, but make sure there is enough ventilation.

Dogs and Cats

  • Always keep dogs and cats 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 cat flaps to stop pets escaping and to keep noise to a minimum. Draw the curtains, and if the animals are used to the sounds of TV or radio, switch them on (but not too loudly) in order to block out some of the noise of the fireworks.
  • Ensure dogs are wearing some form of easily readable identification (ID) – even in the house. They should have at least a collar and tag.
  • Let your pet pace around, whine, miaow and hide in a corner if they want to. Do not try to coax them out – it’s just trying to find safety, and should not be disturbed.
  • Avoid leaving your pet alone during such potentially upsetting events. If you do have to leave the house, don’t get angry with your pet if you find they have been destructive or toileted after being left on its own.
  • Never take your dog to a fireworks display. Even if they doesn’t bark or whimper at the noise, it doesn’t mean they are happy.
Source: Blue Cross

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