Bonfire night and the weeks surrounding it can be a particularly stressful time for animals. While we enjoy the novelty of the pretty lights in the sky, our pets can be really spooked by the inevitably loud noises that come with them. They don’t understand why suddenly these noises have started disturbing them. They’re confused and frightened. Some feel threatened and just want to protect their humans. Others, admittedly, couldn’t care less!
There are some things you can do on noisy nights to keep your pets safe and calm though.
Firstly, you can make sure they’re not on their own. Cats are perhaps best off inside the house for the entire period, but almost certainly at night. If you do decide to leave your pets at home while you watch a display, maybe ask a neighbour to take them in for the evening or arrange a doggy sleepover with another dog owner.
If that isn’t an option, there are several ‘calming’ products on the market for both cats and dogs, ranging from tablets to plug-ins. I can’t comment on the usefulness of these since I’ve never tried them, but a quick internet search should give you some idea.
Another option is to go out and take your pet with you. This might sound a bit contradictory, but it worked for us. When our dog was a puppy, we all got into the car and drove to a lovely place that gave us views of the whole town. The dog travels really well so we’re lucky, and we got to watch ‘quiet’ fireworks with a calm (sleeping, in fact) dog. If your cat/rabbit/guinea pig etc travels well then I guess this could be an option for them, too.
Speaking of small furries, if their cages are usually outside, now would be a good time to bring g them in even if it’s only temporarily. Some people really are wreckless and a stray rocket could cause huge problems for a pet in a wooden hutch.
Above all, remember that if your pet is frightened by the noise of bonfire night, they may display unusual behaviour – including bad behaviour! There is always a reason behind bad behaviour so before you consider punishing your pet, please consider first how they see the world full of bright lights and loud noises. It will probably give you a different perspective!
Happy bonfire night – enjoy it sensibly!
Written by our regular contributor Karen Hannah.
All views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Room To Grow.