Keeping pets safe around Bonfire Night

Every year, as we approach the excitement of Bonfire Night, we run through all the safety considerations for us humans. But for those of us with pets, let’s consider the impact on them and their levels of anxiety at this time of year.

We’ve asked our Francesca Corridan, Clinical Services Manager, RVN, and mum to gorgeous Indie, to highlight some of the more effective measures we can take to keep our furry friends safe and calm.

“Bonfire Night, in fact all celebrations with loud and sudden noises, can bring about increased anxiety and stress for animals generally, and especially our domestic pets. But rest assured, with some careful preparation we can ease them through these times and ensure their stress levels remain low.”

Francesca talks us through some of the simple steps we can take to lessen stress in our pets.

Plan ahead

We know the main event is 5 November, but bonfire celebrations and firework displays can start days before and continue for days afterwards. So, get to know the plans for events in your area, specifically within a small radius of your house. This may be a short-lived firework display in a neighbouring garden or a larger-scale organised event. Knowing when these are going to be will help you to plan effectively for your pet’s comfort level.

Here at The Pet Vet, we stock a range of calming products that can be used to help in all sorts of situations where you pet could become anxious. It may be a simple pheromone plug-in or something more specific to your particular situation. Some of these products may take a little time to become effective and so we advise you to get early advice and be on top of your plan.

Home environment

We strongly advise to keep all pets indoors during firework events. Keep windows closed, draw curtains and blinds too, as this helps to muffle the sound. Consider a pet-calming playlist or perhaps simply turn up familiar sounds, such as the TV to mask external noise.

We all know pets like to have their own space, and sometimes this is a hidden spot away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you know you pet likes to hide away, creating an extra cosy little den that you can introduce them to beforehand will be a huge help.

For smaller furries, cover their hutch or cage with a breathable blanket to muffle any sound. Provide extra bedding and easy access to their food and water.

Comfort and care

Keep treats and favourite toys at hand and take time to comfort your pet in the way they are familiar with, always staying calm around them. Remember, our pets’ senses are more heightened than our own. Always take your lead from them; if they do not want to be handled, let them seek their own safe space. Never lose patience with an anxious pet; what they need is calm reassurance, a safe space and familiarity.

Outdoor exercise

You can still ensure your dog gets fresh air and exercise but consider walking earlier in the day before the risk of sudden loud noises can upset them. 

Returning to normal life

Once all events are over and you can begin to let your pet return to normal activity, please check that the outdoor space is clear of firework debris, dead sparklers and any other hazard that could result in harm. A quick clean-up operation will ensure they can return to their outdoor life safely. We want to help you to keep your pets safe and sane throughout the coming month and with some guidance from the team here at The Pet Vet, we’re confident we can. Never hesitate to give us a call or pop in if you have any concerns over your pet’s levels of anxiety. There could be other underlying reasons, which we would be able to advise on too.

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Francesca explains that The Pet Vet’s Vets and Nurses know how stress and anxiety can be managed if we take the right steps, and urges early contact to get the right advice:

“We have many products in our surgeries to help with anxiety-related issues, some of which require a small lead time to become effective. So do not hesitate to get in touch and we can help you to choose what is appropriate for your pet and circumstances.”

Not just fireworks…

Remember, all forms of loud and sudden unfamiliar noises can unnerve your pet; thunderstorms, house alarms, even parties and crowds of people. As we approach the festive season, it is likely that you will have numerous visits from friends and family, unfamiliar voices and noises for your pet. Simply follow the steps detailed here and know you are doing the very best for your beloved companion.

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Stay safe this year and keep those pets happy!

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