PDSA reveal Bonfire Night pet safety tips

Keeping safe on Bonfire Night does not only apply to us. It’s also a time to keep pets safe, PDSA here advising how.
Fireworks can be very scary for pets (photo: Adobe)Fireworks can be very scary for pets (photo: Adobe)
Fireworks can be very scary for pets (photo: Adobe)

Five timely top tips to prepare pets for fireworks season ... and why you should start now.

Bonfire Night is getting close so PDSA vet charity for pets in need is urging animal owners to take action to prepare for fireworks and bonfires.

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Many of our pets’ senses are far more sensitive than ours, so loud noises and bright flashes can be overwhelming, making fireworks season a traumatic and anxious time for many of our furry friends. In fact, the 2022 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report revealed that 41 per cent of dog owners and 30 per cent of cat owners said their pets were afraid of fireworks*.

Keep pets at a safe distance from a bonfire (photo: Adobe)Keep pets at a safe distance from a bonfire (photo: Adobe)
Keep pets at a safe distance from a bonfire (photo: Adobe)

PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing said: “In 2021, in our 48 Pet Hospitals across the country we saw 1,200 animals with firework related issues such as phobias and injuries, highlighting the real impact on our furry friends. November can be an especially scary period for our pets because of this, but taking the time to prepare them for our celebrations can make a huge difference.”

Start early: “Talk to your vet if you know your pet becomes distressed with fireworks – they may be able to prescribe medication to help.

"Now is also the time to start desensitising pets to the sounds that come with Bonfire Night - the earlier you start, ideally at least six weeks ahead, the less likely they are to have a negative association with them.”

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Use music and pheromones: “Music can be really helpful to drown out the sound of bangs, but if your pet isn’t used to the tunes, that could be a surprise in itself. Use your own playlist or try one we’ve created and play it around the house in the lead up to Bonfire Night, then when you need the music to mask the noise, your pet should be used to it.”

Keep them safe: “Make sure dogs have been to the toilet and cats are indoors well before dark. Start giving them their dinner a bit earlier now so they know what time to come home.”

Set up a retreat: “Creating a space where your pet feels safe and secure will give them somewhere to go if they feel anxious.

"Setting this up as soon as possible will give your four-legged friend time to get familiar with the space ahead of any fireworks.”

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Plan ahead: “Writing the dates and times of any local displays in your calendar or setting a reminder on your phone means you can plan to be home to provide reassurance.

“Knowing what’s on in advance also allows you to ensure your pet is safely indoors before fireworks begin, and gives you plenty of time to prepare their safe space.”

Visit www.pdsa.org.uk/fireworksready on preparing for Bonfire Night with pets.