Pet safety and fireworks
At Fireworks Boutique we take the safety of pets and wildlife extremely seriously, we are continuously looking at the range we stock to add more pet friendly fireworks. We know they aren’t to everyone’s taste, so we ask our customers to be respectful of neighbours and especially those who have pets and wildlife nearby.
As pet lovers ourselves we know how fireworks can cause stress and anxiety for pets. Our very own pet dog Tyla gets pretty anxious when it comes to fireworks, so we’ve put together some tips on how we get him to calm down during fireworks season and other things we've learnt that are useful to share:
Dog safety and fireworks
Take dogs out for an early walk
If you normally take your dog out for an evening or late-night walk, think about changing the routine for that day and go out early to avoid being outside when the fireworks start. Any time before 7pm is probably a good shout. If you can, perhaps take them out earlier all that week leading up to a big occasion to help normalise it for them. Ensure to keep them on a lead during fireworks season as dogs can run off if startled.
Use a pheromone plug-in
Pheromones are scents that have been especially designed to help to calm pets. Simply plug them in to a domestic socket and they will fill the air like a diffuser. The pets will inhale the calming scent and in-turn relax.
Keep windows and curtains closed
Keep windows closed and curtains and blinds drawn to help muffle the sound of fireworks as much as possible.
Put on some music or tv to mask the firework sounds
Turning the TV or radio helps muffle the loud noises and crackles made by fireworks. It also is a familiar noise that your dogs have been used to for most of their lives. On the flip side playing relaxing music or a programme you watch regularly will help reassure your pet things are normalish.
Keep calm and carry on
By staying calm and acting as normal as possible helps your dog remain calm. They feed off your energy so give lots of praise for calm behaviour. Gentle behaviour such as stroking and cuddling your will help them relax. However, shouting at them for barking will do the opposite.
Don’t leave them on their own
Try and avoid leaving your pet alone during peak firework events. 2021 dates to be mindful of are
- Chinese New Year on 12th February 2021
- Diwali on 4th November 2021
- Bonfire Night on 5th November 2021
- New Year’s Eve on 31st December 2021
If you need to leave the house, don’t get angry with your pet if you come back and they have soiled or damaged anything. It may be a stress reaction to the fireworks. Shouting at a frightened pet will only make them more stressed.
Cats safety and fireworks
Keep cats indoors
If your cat generally stays outdoors, it’s worth keeping them in when they come home earlier in the day. Otherwise, there’s a chance they will still be out when the fireworks start. Microchip your cats in case they're startled and escape outside.
Provide hiding places in your home
When cats are stressed, they will look to find somewhere they can hide or bury themselves. Creating some tactical hiding places around the home make it much easier and quicker for them to dive into somewhere safe and familiar if they need to.
Give them a treat
To help keep them distracted a teat works wonders. A tasty treat can make a huge difference to your pet’s stress levels and acts as a reward for their good behaviour. A stuffed chew toy can keep dogs occupied for hours, while a treat puzzle ball can have the same effect on cats and rabbits. These stimulating toys help take their mind off what’s going on around them and can even help them forget their fears.
Small animal safety and fireworks
Bringing hutches and cages indoors
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 are easily frightened. If your small pet hutch is normally outdoors consider bringing it in during firework season. Rabbits have a sensitive nature and outdoor rabbits struggle when it comes to fireworks. By bringing the rabbits indoors it reduces the noise and startling colours which in-turn helps reduce their stress and anxiety levels. This also protects them from shrapnel and any firework dust.
If bringing them inside isn’t an option then lay a few thick blankets or covers over their hutch to help muffle the noise and keep them calm.
Give rabbits extra bedding
When rabbits are scared, they tend to burrow, adding some additional bedding into their hutch gives them more opportunities to hide in and helps them feel protected against the noise.
Horse safety and fireworks
Forewarn local neighbours that you have horses
By making neighbours aware that you keep horses will make them more conscious of when and where they do their fireworks but it can also act as a trigger so neighbours can forewarn horse owners that they are going to do fireworks at a specific time on a specific day.
Keep your horse in a familiar environment, and in their normal routine with any fellow horses 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. Keep an eye on them during the evening to ensure they aren’t overly stressed. If so, maybe move them to their stables so they are better protected from the noise and bright colours.
Keep an eye on reactions
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 firework show, leave clear instructions and contact details for yourself and your vet should any problems arise
If pets are kept indoors look to creating a calming playlist of music to disguise the whistles and bangs of the fireworks. If you aren’t sure which music will work, ask your local vet or find some ideas on YouTube.
We hope these tips help keep your pets safe when it comes to fireworks to put you and them at ease.