Thousands upon thousands of animals suffer when fireworks are released - and in many cases, their owners can't even prepare them because they don't know when and where displays are happening. Follow our tips to keep them safe and happy this fireworks season.

Dogs:

  • Always keep dogs inside when fireworks are being let off and walk earlier in the day before the fireworks begin
  • Close all windows and doors to keep noise to a minimum. Draw the curtains, and if the animals are used to the sounds of TV or radio, switch them on (but not too loudly) in order to drown out some of the noise of the fireworks.
  • Always make sure dogs are wearing  identification (ID) – even in the house. The minimum should be at least a collar and tag.
  • All dogs should be microchipped by law, ensure these details are up to date, so that if they do run away they have a better chance of being quickly reunited with you
  • Prepare a ‘den’ for your pet where it can feel safe and comfortable – perhaps under a bed with some of your old clothes. They may like to hide there when the fireworks start.
  • Let your pet pace around and hide in a corner if they want to. Do not try to coax them out – they are trying to find safety and should not be disturbed.
  • Stay calm, act normally and give lots of praise for calm behaviour. It’s OK to cuddle and stroke your pet if it helps them relax, but if they prefer to hide under your bed, then let them do this instead.
  • Avoid leaving your pet alone during such potentially upsetting events. 
  • Never take your dog to a fireworks display. Even if they doesn’t bark or whimper at the noise, it doesn’t mean they are happy. Excessive panting and yawning can indicate that your dog is stressed!
  • Sometimes calming clothing or plug-in calmers can help settle a dogs nerves

Cats:

  • Always keep cats inside when fireworks are happening outside
  • Close all windows and doors, and block off catflaps to stop pets escaping and to keep noise to a minimum
  • Plug-in calmers such as felliway help some cats settle during high stress times
  • Create cosy, covered places for the cat to stay in. Igloo beds and covered shelters act as a place of safety.

Rabbits and small furries:

  • If possible, hutches and enclosures should be brought into a quiet room indoors or into a garage/shed. If this is not possible, try faces the enclosures to face the wall - this will block out the changes in light. 
  • Increase the amount of bedding in the living areas for your pet to snuggle into
  • Cover enclosures in thick blankets and duvets to block out light and dampen the noise

Wildlife:

Bonfires often seem like the perfect place for passing hedgehogs to rest and set up camp. It is incredibly important to check for wildlife living in bonfire and storage places before lighting.