Bonfire Night 2021: Six tips to keep your pets safe and calm during tonight’s fireworks

Dog trainer shares advice ahead of Fireworks Night

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Bonfire Night is due to explode to life this evening, with displays scheduled across the country throughout the weekend. However, for pet owners, it can be a worrying time, with many dogs and cats fearful every time they hear a loud bang outside.

But it isn’t just dogs and cats who can be scared by the annual celebrations.

Even small animals in cages can experience fear as a result.

Fireworks are known to cause stress, anxiety and sometimes even aggression in some pets.

This is largely down to the noise and unpredictability that can trigger a fight or flight response in animals.

Luckily, there are some ways you can prepare your pet for the evening’s festivities and reduce their anxiety throughout the weekend.

Walk dogs early in the day

While a late-night or evening walk may be your preferred time to take your pooch out, if fireworks are likely to be going off it is a good idea to move your walk to earlier in the day.

Dogs can be easily startled by the loud bangs, and it can be even worse for them if caught off guard while outside.

Most fireworks won’t be going off until later in the evening, so aim to take your dog out before the main events begin.

Keep cats inside

If your cat is an outdoor cat, it could be worth keeping them inside for the next couple of evenings.

Should your feline friend be out on the prowl after dark, they could end up caught outside when the fireworks begin.

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Create a safe haven for your pet

The RSPCA recommend creating a safe space for your pet every evening before the fireworks begin.

This means making a cosy spot, perhaps in their bed, filled with many of their favourite toys to distract them.

Often, this is best made in a corner to provide a feeling of protection, or even under a table or chair if they prefer to hide.

Ensure their water and food is nearby.

Give your pet plenty of distractions

You may be heading out to watch a colourful display yourself, however, it is important to make sure your pet has plenty to occupy themselves with if they are being left at home alone.

Make sure you provide plenty of toys for them to play with, and try to keep them in a room with easy access to their bed or a comfortable spot.

Having their food and water bowls in easy reach is also recommended.

Invest in a pheromone diffuser

The RSPCA recommends speaking to your vet before installing a pheromone diffuser.

However, they can be helpful in easing anxiety among pets.

Pheromone diffusers are particularly helpful for dogs, by dispersing calming chemicals into the room.

Look after caged animals

Partially covering cages and pens with blankets can help to soundproof your small pet.

RSPCA also recommends providing additional bedding for small animals to burrow in.

If you keep your caged pet outdoors, consider bringing them indoors for the evening if this is possible.

However, moving a pet’s cage usually takes some planning and should be done as part of a gradual process.

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