How to prepare your pets for fireworks season

5 October 2023

As we head towards the end of the year, we also go into fireworks season which is often a distressing and traumatic time for your pets. They can be petrified by bright lights, loud bangs, and all the whizzing and popping that comes with them. We’ve put together some advice to help you keep your pets as safe and comfortable as possible during the fireworks season.

Create a safe space

It’s important that your pet has somewhere to go where they feel safe. A crate with a blanket over the top can work well for a dog, but pets should not be confined to their safe space as they may wish to come and go, or even find their own around the house. If you haven’t got a crate, you could make a cosy den for your pet in a quiet, dark corner or under a table with their favourite bedding. Make sure that all doors and windows are closed, and curtains are drawn.

If you have rabbits or guinea pigs housed outdoors, if you can, bring their hutch indoors into a quiet room, shed or garage, and close the curtains. If this isn’t possible, you should cover their enclosure with a thick blanket or duvet and provide extra bedding for them to burrow in.

Keep pets inside

It’s impossible to know if a rouge firework is going to go off besides a known firework display, but if it’s around bonfire night or New Year, avoid taking your dog for a walk in the dark, as they can be easily spooked and run away should a firework be let off. Do your research and find out when local firework displays are happening, so that you can plan ahead. Both dogs and cats will be much safer if they are kept inside during those displays.

Ensure your pets have identification

If your dog or cat accidentally escapes or runs away in a panic, it’s so important that they have easily readable identification such as a microchip or collar tag, so that they can be easily reunited with you as quickly as possible.

Provide background noise

Turning on the TV or radio can be especially helpful as it can drown out some of the noise, making your pet feel more settled. Radio stations such as Classic FM have a specific show called Pet Classics, designed with calming music to keep your pet settled during fireworks season.

Look out for signs of stress

It’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of stress from your pets. These can include1:

  • Excessive barking
  • Excessive panting
  • Ears back
  • Shaking
  • Drooling
  • Hiding
  • Messing in the house

For more information on keeping your pets calm during fireworks season, speak to your vet.