This is how to reduce stress for pets when your neighbours set off fireworks

Make sure your furry friend isn't frightened by fireworks this November (Photo: Shutterstock)Make sure your furry friend isn't frightened by fireworks this November (Photo: Shutterstock)
Make sure your furry friend isn't frightened by fireworks this November (Photo: Shutterstock)

With the beginning of firework season just around the corner, remember that, while they can be great entertainment for humans, displays are a huge source of stress for animals across the UK.

Here are steps you can take to make sure that your furry friends are happy and healthy this Bonfire Night.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Indicators of stress

Pets have their own way of letting you know that they’re stressed. If they’re showing any of these behaviours, it means that they could be finding firework season difficult to cope with.

These symptoms include:

ShakingExcessive barkingHiding behind furnitureGoing to the toilet inside the housePacing and pantingRefusing to eatDestructive behaviour (chewing the furniture etc)

Rabbits might also stamp their hind feet or stay completely motionless in order to communicate their stress.

Firework phobia is a treatable condition, according to the RSPCA - seek advice from your vet, who may refer you to a professional clinical animal behaviourist.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Keeping dogs and cats calm

With dogs, you’ll want to take them for a walk during the day before any firework festivities take place.

For cats, you should ensure that you have some hiding spaces in your home that they can take shelter in - they can become much more stressed if they’re left outside during fireworks.

Draw the curtains and close all the windows and doors (block off cat flaps) to stop them from escaping and also to keep outside noise to a minimum.

Charity Blue Cross says “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”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

You should also stay calm and act normally during the fireworks in order to comfort your pets, and also give them lots of praise for good behaviour.

“It’s OK to cuddle and stroke your pet if it helps them relax, but if they prefer to hide under your bed, let them do that instead,” Blue Cross advises.

You could even create a makeshift ‘den’ for your pet to take refuge in - you can make this with some of your old clothes and situate it under your bed, as your pet may like to hide there when the fireworks start.

Tips for small pets

Small pets should also be given extra care during fireworks season as well - rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils mice, ferrets and birds can all feel the stressful effects of fireworks.

Blue Cross advises:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Hutches, cages and enclosures should, where possible, be brought inside the house into a quiet room, or into the garage or a shed. If you can’t bring your pet’s hutch inside, the enclosure should be turned around so that it faces a wall or fence rather than an open gardenProvide your pet with extra bedding so that it can burrowCover any aviaries or hutches with thick blankets or duvets in order to block out the sight of fireworks and also dampen the sound - but be sure there is enough ventilation

This article originally appeared on our sister site Edinburgh Evening News