5th November is so much fun – crackling fires, sparklers, toffee apples and loud, bright fireworks.
Not so much fun if you’re an animal though.
Animals don’t understand fireworks – all they see and hear are the blinding flashes of light and the explosive bangs. It must be terrifying, and you can’t explain to them what is going on. To keep them safe and well, here are my top tips:
- KEEP THEM INSIDE. I can’t stress this one enough. If they are outside and become frightened by the fireworks they could run away, bolt into a road and be hurt or end up getting injured by a firework or bonfire. It’s not worth the risk at all. Make sure animals are inside by late afternoon as the festivities tend to start early.
- Give them somewhere warm, safe and comfortable to sleep. We love this self heating pad from Feedem – it is made from a soft faux fur with a super thermal insulating filler – a perfect comfort spot for a cold autumn night! Place the bed in a place where the animal will be comfortable. If you are home, they may be in the room you are in, and if you are out and about then pop the bed in a place that you know your animal is comfortable in, well away from windows and doors
- Consider a few new toys to distract your pet. Our 2 cats love their new activity play centre – it serves as a place to hide away when they need from space from the children, and the hanging toys provide active play when they are feeling a bit more lively!
We have also recently discovered the Kong range for cats. The Active Catnip Apple toy has a refillable catnip core, and it rolls when they scratch at it. It provides hours of fun and exercise, and might just take their minds of what is happening outside!
- Try a DAP or Feliway diffuser. It works in the same way as a plug in air freshener – just plug in and leave it switched on. You can’t smell anything, but it releases a calming pheromone into the room that helps to soothe and relax fractious animals. It can be just the thing they need to help them feel more chilled on bonfire night.
- If you are out for the night, leave a TV or radio on low volume. It comforts the animals, in the same way that humans enjoy background noise. It makes them feel less alone, and can also block out some of the bangs and crashes. Keep the curtains closed too, to help block out the flashes of light.
- If you are at home, act as if nothing is happening. The more fuss you make, the more you reinforce that there is something to be frightened of. A scared animal looks to you for reassurance, and in their eyes, if you look worried and keep reassuring them, then there is something to be concerned about – you make the problem worse without realising! Carry on as normal, let the animal hide away if they want to.
- If all else fails, and you know your animal will be beyond terrified, then see your vet. In extreme circumstances they can provide a mild sedative to help.