cute grey cat having a cuddle with owner on the bed watching something on the owners phone

Everyone loves a good Fireworks night. The sparklers, food stands and fun fairs – they all make for a great night out with the family.

Except fireworks can be extremely scary for our pets. And spending several nights – or even weeks – listening to loud bangs is understandably going to make them feel unsettled and anxious.

That means, helping our dogs, cats and small pets feel safe this November time, should be our top priority.

There are lots of ways you can help your pets feel calmer during fireworks season. And with a little preparation, you’ll have them feeling as settled as possible to keep any fear to a minimum.

Preparing for fireworks night: Cats and dogs

In the run up to November, it’s worth making sure you have everything you need to help your pet feel as calm as possible during fireworks season.

How you can prepare:

  • Give your pet a safe place to hide – you’ll want to make sure your pet has somewhere they can go while fireworks are going off. Find a space in the quietest room in your house and create a little hideaway. For dogs and cats, this can either be an Igloo Bed or simply a soft, comfortable pet bed that’s in a covered area. You can even build them a mini-den using blankets or sheets. Fill the den with their favourite toys and let them know it’s there. That way, whenever they feel scared, they can go into their hideaway. This should be done in advance to help your dog or cat learn that it is a safe space where they feel in control. Don’t try to tempt them out with toys as this can make them feel more stressed.
  • Speak to your vet – it’s always worth visiting your vet to find out what calming products might be suitable for your dog or cat to help them feel relaxed. These are often pet-safe diffusers that you can plug in, or they can be sprays or drops.
  • Keep walkies to daylight hours – keeping to daylight hours when you take your dog for a walk will reduce the chance of fireworks going off suddenly while you and your pet are still outside. This can make dogs feel worried, so it’s best to avoid going for walks when it’s dark. We understand however that this can be difficult when the days are getting shorter. So, it might be worth investing in a professional dog walker to help make sure your dog gets out while it’s still light.
  • Don’t forget your small pets – small pets can also feel panicky when fireworks are going off. You can help prepare by making sure you give them extra hay and bedding to hide in. You can also half cover their cage to reduce the noise. Just make sure it’s still well ventilated.

cute ginger cat being stroked by its owner

During fireworks:

  • Close your windows – with summer’s heat wave long-gone, it’s unlikely that you’ll have your windows open. However, just in case you do, make sure they are closed to help reduce the noise. You’ll also want to make sure the curtains are closed and use blackout blinds if you can. This will stop any flashes from distracting your pets or making them feel scared.
  • Play soothing music – not all pets will enjoy music, but if you know that your dog or cat likes a particular type of music or is used to having it on, then it’s definitely worth playing. That way, the sound of fireworks will be muffled against the music. It will also help your pets feel less jumpy at every loud bang. If your pet doesn’t like music, putting on the TV is also a good trick as it’s a sound that they will be used to.
  • Bring outdoor pets, indoors – you should always bring outdoors pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs indoors during fireworks night. The loud bangs can induce shock in small animals, which in some cases can sadly be fatal. Make sure you have somewhere safe to put them – if you’re staying indoors with them, then you could try a playpen with a floor mat. That way you have a safe space that you can also fix their water bottle onto, put food inside as well as toys. And don’t forget, you can also give them more hay or a small pet house, so they can hide away whenever they need to.

Stay relaxed

Pets, especially dogs, will look to you for reassurance when they feel scared. This means there are a few things you can do to help them feel calm:

    • Stay calm yourself – make sure you act relaxed and as if everything is normal. Don’t react to the fireworks and ensure you maintain a calm voice. This way, you can signal to your dog that everything is normal and that there is nothing to be frightened of.
    • Stroke your pet – stroking can really help relax your pet. If you know their favourite spots, make sure you pay them lots of attention and keep treats on hand to help them relax.
    • Distract them – getting out their favourite toys is a great technique for helping to distract your cat or dog from loud noises. However, if they’re in their hideaway, don’t force them out to play with you as this can stress them even further. It might be an idea to sit and play with your pet’s toys nearby and then if they want to play, they can come to you.
    • Stay with your pet – it's best not to leave your pet alone when fireworks are going off. Especially if you think they might accidentally hurt themselves. Anxious pets can be panicky so make sure you stay with your furry companion, so you can help to keep them calm, as well as keep an eye on them.

gorgeous french bulldog puppy with black and white print asleep in owners arms

We hope you and your pets stay safe this Bonfire Night! If you have any questions regarding our products, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram @meandmypetsofficial.