Fireworks Fright: keeping pets calm during Bonfire Night celebrations

With the autumnal nights drawing in and November almost upon us, it can only mean one thing… Bonfire Night celebrations.

However, if you are a pet owner, seeing your furry friend in distress at the loud bangs associated with the festivities can prove an altogether more stressful experience.

Although many of the capital’s traditionally organised displays have been cancelled due to coronavirus, an RSPCA poll has found that 18% more people in England and Wales will be holding private displays in their back gardens.

MORE WHIMPER THAN BANG: Fireworks are popular for Bonfire Night celebrations but can cause anxiety to our pets

A spokesperson for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home said: “We urge any members of the public who ae planning to use fireworks to let their neighbours know ahead of time so pet owners can ensure their animals are inside, safe and secure, as well as using fireworks responsibly and adhering to regulations, including curfews.

“Battersea would support more effective publicity of these regulations, as well as more effective enforcement.”

With pets getting increasingly distressed due to the loud noise, owners can find it difficult to settle their beloved fur babies.

They are often scared of the unpredictable nature of the loud noise, triggering their fight-or-flight response.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have made a number of suggestions in order to reduce your pet’s anxiety including drawing the curtains or covering the windows to minimise the lights from the fireworks and creating a ‘safe place’ inside your home for your dog to hide.

They also advise masking the sudden bang of fireworks by keeping a radio or TV on, which could also reduce the impact noises may have on your pet.

There are extra tips on managing pet anxiety on the Battersea Dogs and Cats home website, including a short video guide on how to desensitise your dog to loud noises.

After receiving over 1,500 calls over the past four years, RSPCA have now launched #Bangoutoforder, a campaign to change firework regulations to make them safer for animals. 

They want people to sign the petition on their website in the hope that it encourages local councils to put forward changes ensuring that Guy Fawkes night is a calmer affair for pets and owners alike in future.

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