A guide for how to look after your pets on Bonfire Night

Tips for looking after your pets on Bonfire Night
Tips for looking after your pets on Bonfire Night

The bright lights and bangs of Bonfire Night are enjoyed by millions of people every year, but for pets it can be the most nerve-wracking time of the year.

Statistics show approximately 80 per cent of dogs, as well as cats, rabbits and guinea pigs, have a phobia of fireworks, which can leave them terrified.

The ‘firework season’ can last for weeks around November 5, so vets are advising pet owners on how to help their pets keep calm during this period.

Dr Huw Stacey, director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, said: “Animals, including dogs and cats, have very heightened senses and are incredibly sensitive to sudden loud noises and flashes in the darkness.

“Although we humans generally love the rockets and sparklers on Bonfire Night, they can be very upsetting and confusing for our pets. They just cannot comprehend what they are or understand that they won’t hurt them.

“The classic signs of distress in dogs are shaking, barking excessively and hiding away. In cats it can include hiding behind or on top of furniture.

“It would not be surprising if they ended up quivering away in the corner. However, there are many easy ways of relieving your pet’s stress.

“One of the key things to remember is to never punish your pet, even if your dog will not stop barking, this will only make them much more stressed.

“The top tips include providing your pet with a cosy hiding place, making sure all escape routes (cat flaps, windows and doors) are closed and shutting curtains or blinds.

“We understand families want to enjoy Bonfire Night, so we want to encourage pet owners to follow some simple steps to help the whole household have a happy and stress-free evening.”

Further information can be found at www.vets4pets.com/fireworks.