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Pet Firework Safety

Pet and Animal Safety with Fireworks

Most animals such as dogs and cats can have very sensitive hearing which can lead them to become scared during firework season.

As a company of animal’s lovers, we always advise our customers on the simple things such as informing your neighbours about letting fireworks off so they can have time to prepare and protect their pets.

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 can be easily frightened. It is recommended to follow these guidelines below:

  • 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.

Cats & Dogs

  • 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.
  • Think about fitting pets with a microchip, so that if they do run away they have a better chance of being quickly reunited with you
  • Prepare a ‘den’ for your pet where it can feel safe and comfortable – perhaps under a bed with some of your old clothes. They may like to hide there when the fireworks start.
  • 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.
  • Stay calm, act normally and give lots of praise for calm behaviour. It’s OK to cuddle and stroke your pet if it helps them relax, but if they prefer to hide under your bed, then let them do this instead.
  • Avoid leaving your pet alone when fireworks being let off. 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. Shouting at a frightened pet will only make them more stressed.
  • Don’t tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off, i.e. outside a shop while you pop inside, or leave them in the garden or in your car.
  • Do not 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. Excessive panting and yawning can indicate that your dog is stressed.

Horses, Ponies or Livestock

  • Fireworks are recommended to not be set off near livestock or horses in fields, or close to buildings housing livestock. If you are planning a firework display in a rural area you should warn the neighbouring farmers in advance.

If you own a horse the following guidelines may be helpful;

  • Keep your horse in a familiar environment, in their normal routine with any companions to make them feel secure. If your horse is usually stabled then keep them stabled. If they are normally out in the field, keep them there as long as it is safe, secure and not near the fireworks display area.
  • Ensure that you or someone experienced stays with your horse if you know fireworks are being set off. This way you can observe their behaviour, ensure they remains as safe and calm as possible and respond to its reactions appropriately.
  • If you know your horse reacts badly to loud noises speak to your vet or perhaps consider moving your horse for the night
  • Try to remain calm and positive as horses can sense unease in a person and this might make things worse if the horse is startled
  • Be careful yourself. Try not to get in the way if your horse becomes startled as you may get hurt.
  • Don’t take the risk of riding when you think fireworks might be set off
  • If it is necessary for you to leave your horse in the care of another person during a fireworks show, leave clear instructions and contact details for yourself and your vet should any problems arise

Think ahead

  • If you think your pet will struggle to cope with the fireworks season, speak to your vet 6 to 12 weeks beforehand. If you want behavioural advice it’s best to look into it 3 to 6 months in advance.
  • Occasionally we are often not forewarned about private fireworks displays. Be prepared for the lead up to the 5 November and New year’s eve, and be proactive about finding out when other celebratory occasions might occur.

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