The weekend before Bonfire Night is likely to see plenty of parties and organised firework displays. Fun for families – but not necessarily for the family pet who has no way of understanding that the bright lights and loud bangs are harmless.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) explains that fireworks can be as loud as a jet engine – up to 150 decibels – so pets, with their sensitive hearing, can find this upsetting. If your pet is severely distressed by firework noise, your vet will be able to offer treatments that might help.
The BVA advises owners to be aware of the different ways an animal might be trying to communicate its distress so they can step in early to help their pet. According to the BVA, “While some pets show obvious signs such as panting, drooling and attempts to escape, there are also more subtle signs that owners should be aware of, including restlessness and toileting in the house. Cats often hide while rabbits may keep very still and thump the ground with their back feet.”
What To Do
Top tips to help your pet over the fireworks season:
- Create a well-padded den for your pet so they have a safe place to hide when fireworks start
- Pheromone products, prescribed by your vet, can be used next to your pets’ den and around the house to help calm them
- Ensure your pet is microchipped and your details up to date on the database, in case it runs away from home
- Move small pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs to a quiet place indoors
- Close windows and curtains and provide background noise to help mask the fireworks
- If your pet is distressed, remain calm yourself – too much reassurance could reinforce your pet’s feeling that there’s something to worry about
- Remember, restlessness or toileting in the house can be signs of stress so be understanding of your pets if they are affected in this way.