Top Tips to keep your pets safe and sound this Guy Fawkes season.

45% of dogs in the UK are frightened by fireworks, is yours one of them?  With family gatherings and organised events back on after last year’s restrictions, there’s likely to be a few more colourful skies and loud noises to watch out for. So, whether you have plans to watch fireworks at home or at an organised event, it’s important to make sure your pets are well looked after.
Dogs can hear four times the distance and hear higher pitched sounds than humans at a frequency of range of 67-45,000 Hz, that’s high and loud!  It’s no wonder some are scared.  Although it doesn’t have to be that way.  
Follow some trusted tips to help from the RSPCA: If in doubt always speak to your vet who, if needed, will be able to refer you to a professional animal behaviourist.

Keeping cats and dogs secure 

  • Make sure your dog or cat always has somewhere to hide if they want to and always has access to this place. For example, this may be under some furniture or in a cupboard.  
  • Make sure your cat or dog is always kept in a safe and secure environment and can’t escape if there’s a sudden noise. 
  • Have your pets microchipped in case they do escape – by law, your dog should already be microchipped. 
  • During fireworks seasons, walk dogs during daylight hours and keep cats and dogs indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off. 
  • At nightfall, close windows and curtains and put on music to mask and muffle the sound of fireworks.
  • Never punish your pets when they are scared as this will only make things worse in the long run.
  • If you’re able to plan ahead you may wish to speak to your vet about pheromone diffusers. These disperse calming chemicals into the room and may be a good option for your dog, if used in conjunction with behavioural therapy. 

The Animal Poison Line
get a lot of calls at this time of year involving cats and dogs who have mistaken fireworks (including sparklers) and glow sticks as a tasty snack! Be sure to clean up firework debris promptly to avoid temptation for the more curious pets.

A burning sparkler has a temperature similar to a welding torch so beware of burns to the mouth or skin if your dog or cat chews or touches it.  Glowsticks are also popular around the bonfire and the plastic tubing contains chemicals which are an irritant.  Surprisingly these aren’t too toxic to pets and they also taste bitter, so your dog or cat is unlikely to want to eat a large amount.  They may froth around the mouth and vomit for a few minutes if they have had a chew on them. If this happens offer them a tasty treat and some water to take the nasty taste away.

Don’t forget the small animals. 

If your pets live outside, partly cover cages, pens, and aviaries with blankets so that one area is well sound-proofed. Make sure that your pets are still able to look out. Provide lots of extra bedding so your pets have something to burrow in. Consider bringing them indoors for Guy Fawkes night, this should be done gradually so not to shock them.

If you’re planning an event at home this year look for low noise fireworks that will cause less stress to neighbour’s pets and be sure to give neighbours ample notice so they can prepare any animals they look after, including horses and livestock kept in nearby fields or buildings.

However, you’re celebrating this year we wish you and your pets a fun and safe Guy Fawkes night.