How to help keep your pets safe and calm this Bonfire night

4 November 2019, 14:43 | Updated: 4 November 2019, 14:46

Here's how to protect your pets this fireworks night
Here's how to protect your pets this fireworks night. Picture: Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

For most of us, Bonfire night is a time for toffee apples, hot chocolate and watching the fireworks.

Unfortunately, for our four-legged friends, November 5 can be one of the scariest nights of the year.

A dog’s hearing is twice as sensitive as a human’s, while a cat’s three times, so it’s no surprise that the noise and flashes of fireworks can cause serious distress.

While plenty of concerned animal lovers have been calling for the displays to be banned altogether, experts are now advising ways make this week as comfortable as possible.

And online retailer PurePetFood.com has come up with some handy tips to help your pets stay calm this Guy Fawkes night.

Dogs can become very distressed over the loud bang of fireworks
Dogs can become very distressed over the loud bang of fireworks. Picture: Getty Images

How to keep your pets safe on Bonfire Night

1. Update your pet’s microchip

Some cats and dogs might panic and run off when they hear loud fireworks bang, so making sure they’ll be able to be returned safely is very important.

Read More: Bonfire Night puts thousands of hedgehogs at risk - here’s how you can help protect them

2. Fill up their water bowl

Nervous dogs in particular pant more and therefore get thirsty quickly.

3. Take them for a walk

Make sure your dog has had a walk while it’s still light as they might not want to go outside when the fireworks start.

Read More: What is a Taurid meteor shower and how can I watch the shooting stars this Bonfire night?

4. Keep doors and windows shut

As well as reducing the sound by shutting all doors and windows in your home, drawing the curtains will also help to block out any flashes of light.

5. Create a den

Try using all your pet’s favourite cosy items such as blankets, toys or clothing to make a quiet den in the corner of the room.

6. Use distractions

You can put on the TV or radio to try and distract your dog from the outside noise.

7. Let them hide

Don’t try and stop your furry friends from hiding under the bed or behind the sofa as this could cause them more stress.

8. Act as normal as possible

To make your cats and dogs as relaxed as possible, be ‘calm, happy and cheerful’ yourself.

9. Don’t leave them alone

If possible, keep your pet company when the fireworks are going off so you are there to comfort them.

10. Bring any outdoor pets inside

Pure has also advised that any small animals that live outside, like rabbits and guinea pigs, should be taken indoors.

A spokesperson said: “If you can’t bring their hutch inside, you should turn its enclosure around so that it faces a wall or fence instead of the open garden, and cover it with thick blankets and tarpaulin to block out the sight of fireworks and muffle the sound of the bangs. But remember to leave enough ventilation!”

For more information, you can also visit the RSPCA guidelines.