By Emma Trill on 02 November 2017

Many pets are nervous at the sound of the booming fireworks that light up the night sky this time of year, with some even needing to receive medical care during these stressful times. If you’re worried about your pet, then try some of our suggestions:

Small Pets

- Bring hutches/cages in to a quieter environment indoors, such as hallways or rooms in the middle of the house

- For outside cages/enclosures, move them in to sheds or garages so that they’re enclosed in a safe space

- Aviaries should be covered up (with sufficient ventilation) to hide the sight of the fireworks and to help muffle the sound

- If you’re unable to bring any cages/huts inside, try to turn the front of the cage around to face a wall or object which will block the flashes of light, and as with the aviaries, try to cover the hutch with blankets to quieten the sound, making sure there’s enough ventilation

- Extra bedding is also a good idea so that your pet can burrow themselves deeper and get cosy

Dogs and Cats

- Keep them inside in the evening/night. This will keep them safe from any debris which may find its way into your garden, or nearby open spaces, and also in a controlled environment

- Try to walk your dog before it gets dark and into prime fireworks time

- Close all windows and doors, and cat/dog flaps to limit access to outside places. Also make sure curtains are pulled or blinds are down to block the sight and muffle the noise

- Turn on the TV or radio to distract your pet from the noise outside, but not so loud that they are startled by it

- Keep any ID tags on your pet, especially if they are not microchipped – in the event that they are startled and manage to run away, it will help in getting them home

- Let them pace around, they’re just looking for somewhere that they feel safe and comfortable. Try to make a den where they can lay somewhere like under furniture or in the corner of the room away from windows/doors. Don’t try to get them out once they’re comfortable

- Try not to leave them alone. Without human company during distressing times can cause your pets to be destructive, or have an accident inside. If they do, don’t get angry at them, it will make them more stressed

- Never take your pet to a firework display. This may be pretty obvious, but it does happen. Even if your pet doesn’t bark or whimper at the fireworks, it doesn’t mean they’re okay with them. Panting and yawning are also signs of stress in dogs

Horses/Donkeys and Livestock

- Fireworks should not be set off near horses/donkeys and livestock in fields, or close to buildings that house livestock

- Be proactive - tell your neighbours and local firework display organisers that you have animals nearby and to be considerate

- Keep to your normal routine and ensure they have companions nearby for security. If your horse/donkey is usually stabled that’s fine, but if it is kept in a field, do your homework first – it may be worth stabling them for one night if there is an event too close for comfort

- If there is an event nearby, be with them, or keep someone experienced with them to observe their behaviour and keep them safe and calm

- Speak to your vet if you know your animal does not like loud noises, it may be worth moving locations for the night

- Remain calm as animals can sense unease in people. But also keep yourself safe. Don’t get too close if your animal becomes startled as you could get hurt

If you're planning on a bonfire, don't forget to check in the pile before you light it - it's a perfect place for hedgehogs and other woodland critters to nest

All pet owners are advised to visit for current guidelines on fireworks

*All suggestions as advised by the Blue Cross Animal Charity

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