How to keep your pets comfortable on Bonfire Night

Posted by Argos, 29 October 2020, last updated 1 September 2022.

Bonfire Night is an exciting time of year for us humans. We get to wrap up warm by a fire and watch beautiful firework displays. However, it’s not so fun for many of our pets.

Dealing with the fireworks can be very stressful for your pet, and we’ve got a few ways you can keep them relaxed during the celebrations.

Create a safe place

It’s no secret that pets and fireworks aren’t always a match made in animal heaven. Ensuring they have a safe place they can run to will keep your pets calm in the midst of the noise.

A comfortable space with familiar scenery and smells will offer a nice haven away from the unusual noise of the outside world.

The familiarity will help calm them down and prevent excessive nerves and panic. Make sure you keep this area clear and accessible so that your pets don’t feel trapped, as this can increase stress.

Once they are in their safe place, leave them be. Don’t try to coax them out as this can add to their stress. Once they feel more relaxed they will come out in their own time.

Shut the noise out

Closing your doors and windows, as well as drawing the curtains will help insulate your house and close it off from the noise outside that may cause distress in your pets. If you have set up a space for them, make sure it is away from windows and doors that are likely to let the noise into the house.

Walk them during the day

Exercise your animals outside during the day to avoid any unexpected noisy fireworks.

This means that your pet will be in a safe, stress-free environment during their walk and will feel more at ease. Dogs that are spooked by fireworks may run off the lead into the darkness if a firework is ignited close by, so make sure that their lead is properly attached to them if have no other choice but to walk your dog at night.

If you are really worried about your dog’s stress levels, why not employ a dog walker for the week of Bonfire Night so that they can be walked in the day whilst you are at work?  

Provide distractions

Once the fireworks begin, try to distract your pets. Put some music or the television on to mask the noise with more familiar household sounds, or get a toy out to play with them. However, it is important to add that forcing your pet to play may cause more stress, so if they don’t feel up to it be sure to leave them to relax alone.

Don’t punish pets for reacting negatively

Keep in mind how confusing the evening must be for your pets. Some dogs may react by barking, yelping or howling, whilst cats may meow and moan. This is no time to punish your pets for making too much noise. Calmly offer your pet reassurance to keep them comfortable.

Keep cats and dogs secure in your home

Your pets may want to go outside to explore the strange lights and sounds. Make sure your doors and windows are locked and avoid letting them out into the garden. This way they won’t be able to run away.

Get your pet microchipped

Your pet should stay indoors on Bonfire Night. However, if you have an outdoor cat that does go out unaccompanied on Bonfire Night, having them microchipped is a sensible precaution. They may sneak out or dart through an open door when somebody walks in, so being able to find them again is the most important thing.

Microchipping your dog is a legal requirement. So, if your dog is particularly spooked by fireworks, be sure to go through with the microchipping procedure.

Remember, all the family can enjoy Bonfire Night, pets included. Keep them safe and comfortable and make the evening a happy one!

Don’t forget the little guys

If you have rabbits, guinea pigs or other small animals in the garden, don’t forget that they will be just as affected as cats and dogs. Place a cover over their home to soundproof it, leaving a small gap so they can still see out. Make sure they have extra bedding to burrow into when scared.

If possible, bring them inside to a safe place whether this is your home, shed or garage. This way they will be shielded from any outside noise that would scare them.

Good luck and happy Bonfire Night!

For more advice, our vet has some great tips for keeping your cat or dog safe.

Bonfire night can be a distressing time for pets. It’s important to protect your pet with Argos Pet Insurance provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our pet insurance policies today.

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