Firework Night: A step-by-step plan for your pet

Like any other celebration, you’ll be planning your upcoming Bonfire Night with great enthusiasm. But it’s not just your night, your pet needs a plan too. Check out our step by step guide to make sure you pet has a stress-free night.   

We also have a range of calming products for Cats and Dogs that can help keep them calm.

Before Fireworks Night

Step one: Do your research

Are there any local firework displays in your area? Do you know if your neighbours will be holding their own celebrations? Knowing these details means you can make sure you've put everything in place, and you’ll be prepared for when your pets are caught off-guard by the fireworks. 

Step two: Check your pet’s identification is up to date

Since the 6th April 2016 is has been a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped, and to remain compliant with the law your contact details also have to be up to date. While the same doesn’t apply to cats, it is a really good idea to consider having your cat microchipped in case it goes missing. Collars with identity tags are also helpful, and you should check these are correct too. As owners, we'll do all we can to make sure our pets don’t get scared and run off, but if they do you want to make sure you are reunited with them as quickly as possible.

For more information about microchipping, you can visit these helpful links:

Step three: Pet comfort zone

One of your pet’s reactions to fireworks could be to run and hide. They might retreat to a place in your home that feels familiar and safe. If you’re aware of your cat or dog having a ‘safe zone’, it is worth taking a quick look to see if anything can be done to make it more firework proof.

Duvets and blankets can help muffle the sound of fireworks, so you could use one to cover your pet’s den – pegs can be useful for keeping them in place. Firework displays can last a long time, and you don’t know how long after they stop it will take your cat or dog to venture back out. Adding some clothing that smells of you can help soothe you pet, while extra bedding will help make the space more comfy. Place some toys and treats inside – your pet will create a positive association with the space, and will feel happier being there.

It is important not to try and tempt your pet out of their space when they go in – this could just make them more anxious. On the night, make sure you have a supply of food or treats they love so you can reward good and calm behaviour. Be careful not to overfeed your pet though – a nervous cat or dog could make themselves sick, which can make them feel more stressed.

Dogs in particular can get dehydrated when stressed, so it is important to keep their water bowl topped up.

Step four: Prepare your pet

Before the night, play some firework noises in your house. Don’t turn the volume up as high as possible, but do make sure your cat or dog can hear it. This will allow them to get used to the noise, so when fireworks start going off for real they won’t come as a complete shock. 

Beaphar Calming Cat watching TV

On Fireworks Night

1. Try giving your pet a little more food than usual to settle them early
A little extra food will help them feel more comfortable and help put them in a good mood. If your cat or dog’s feeding time coincides with a firework display, feed them a little bit earlier. Once the fireworks start going off your pet could become too distressed to eat.  The more comfortable they feel the more likely they wont react to the noises.

2. Take your dog for a long walk or tempt your cat back in well before the fireworks start
Exercise your dog during the day ensures that you won't be walking around at night with the fireworks going off which would increase the chances of your dog becoming stressed. It will also tire them early, increasing the likelihood of them finding a quiet spot to sleep.  

For cats that go out during the day, consider closing the cat flap a little earlier than usual. If they stay out for long periods of time or are hard to tempt indoors, you may want to keep them inside all day.

3. Secure all doors, windows and cat/dog flaps as pets have a tendency to run when spooked
Once your pet is inside, double check you’ve locked your windows, doors and cat/dog flaps. If a cat or dog tries to run away from the fireworks and ends up outside, they will be in an even more distressing situation, and are more likely to get lost. 

4. Draw curtains and blinds to ensure the pets can't see the fireworks
It is not just the noises that can be stressing for a pet but it is also the flashes. Closing the blinds, curtains or shutters means they will only see a familiar space which will reduce the chances of stress.

5. Play music with a repetitive beat or leave the TV on to mask the sound
Put on some music or turn your television up a little louder than normal as well to help muffle the sounds. Having some of yourpet’s favourite toys lying around may also help them to focus on another activity rather than the noise. 

6. Act natural
In the same way that children look to their parents and take cues from them, your pet will too. If you don’t seem bothered by the noise, then your cat or dog will feel more relaxed.

For further assistance we also have a range of calming products for Cats and Dogs.

Beaphar Calming Range

  pet types : Dog Dog Calming

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