As Bonfire Night is approaching, we have gathered some top tips for reducing your pet’s anxiety on this highly celebrated holiday.
- Make sure your dog is well fed before any fireworks start as they may be too anxious to eat once they have begun.
- Fill their water bowl so that they have something to quench their thirst after all the anxious panting is over.
- Ensure you give your dog plenty of comfort if they come to you.
- Walk your dog before it starts to get dark as people are unlikely to be setting off fireworks at this time. We stock a selection of leaders here: https://www.pettags.co.uk/collections/leads-collars
- Make a safe den filled with your dog’s favourite toys, teddy bears and blankets in case they need to retreat.If you want to stock up, visit our site and see a wide range of snuggle items and comfort toys! https://www.pettags.co.uk/collections/pet-products
- It is always a good idea to check your microchipping details are up to date in the days before bonfire night and that they are wearing a collar and ID tag, as your dog might become scared and run away. If your microchips have incorrect information they may not be returned to you safely. Don’t worry - if you don’t already have a collar or ID tag for your dog, you can purchase one from our site today!
- Make sure all blinds and curtains are closed. This will reduce the noise pollution and prevent your dog from seeing flashing lights.
- If your doors have a cat flap, make sure they are securely shut as smaller dogs may try and run away when in fear.
- Try and distract them with familiar sounds. This could be by turning up the TV, playing music or using your dog’s squeaky toys. Running short on squeaky items? We stock Air Kong Tennis Balls, which contain squeakers and would be perfect for your pooch on Bonfire Night. https://www.pettags.co.uk/collections/pet-products/products/air-kong-tennis-ball
- If your dog is visibly anxious despite trying all of the above, try speaking to it in a calming voice. Dogs react to how you behave, so this may really help!
- Like dogs, cats can become highly stressed on Bonfire Night. Make sure to avoid picking them up or interacting too much as high levels of stress can cause sudden aggression.
- Make sure your cat is wearing a collar and ID tag in case they try to run away when scared. We can help you there! https://www.pettags.co.uk/collections/seasonal-pet-tags
- Ensure all of your microchip data is correct!
- Lock all cat flaps and ensure they have no other escape route.
- Cats feel safer the higher up they go, so if you can, place a comfort box on an easily accessible shelf to ensure optimum comfort for your cat. Here are some items which may help comfort your furry friend (this one says ‘Dog Toy’, but we think cats can benefit from it too): https://www.pettags.co.uk/collections/pet-products/products/maisie-mouse-dogtoy
- Flashes can also affect cats, so close all your curtains to block out the bright lights.
- Act Normal!! If your cat notices you acting suspicious (eg: showing too much affection or anxiously following it around) it may increase their anxiety.
- Locking your cat up in a smaller space or confining it to one room could lead to your cat injuring itself, especially if it tries to escape! Always ensure your cat can easily access all safe spaces within your home.
- Make sure your cat is inside during Bonfire Night! If your cat likes to wander during the day make sure it is safely indoors before dusk.
- New products or treats can help your cat settle into a safe space. Take a look this Teddy Bear Cat Bed, the perfect comfort space to distract your cat! https://www.pettags.co.uk/collections/pet-products/products/teddy-bear-cat-bed
Hamsters, Guinea Pigs and Rabbits:
- If your rabbits or guinea pigs are kept outdoors, we advise that you move their hutch to a garage or shed in the days coming up to Bonfire Night.
- For any hutches or outdoor cages, partially covering them with blankets and filling them with comfort items can help soundproof them as well as shielding them from bright flashes of light.
- Ensure your cage or hutch is fully locked and secured. Emergency vets treat hundreds of pets each year due to injuries from running away or escaping during Bonfire Night.
- Rabbits and guinea pigs are ‘social animals’. While the fireworks are going off, make sure they are around someone they’re familiar with.
- Rabbits can be microchipped! Doing this is a good idea as it means they can be returned to you safely when found.
- For your indoor animals, making sure the curtains are closed is a brilliant way to shield them from hearing loud bangs, or seeing flashing lights, as this can easily scare them.