Bonfire night is celebrated every year, and for us humans is a fun evening filled with loud, bright coloured fireworks…but for our pets, the night is frightening and confusing and can cause significant stress. Animals hearing is much more sensitive than ours, so when we hear a loud bang, it will likely be 50 times louder to them- consider this carefully. There are a range of pet products that can help to keep your pets calm during this time of year, including an Adaptil Diffuser for your dog or a Feliway Diffuser for cats.

While these can provide a massive help to the stress levels of your pets – there are also other ways that you can prepare your pets for bonfire night. When taking your dog for a walk on the 5th November, make sure you take them before dark, so that there shouldn’t be any fireworks to spook them whilst they are out enjoying their walk. We recommend not letting them off the lead at all even if it’s still light as some people may still set fireworks off as the sun goes down which could scare your pet and make them likely to run away.

Try not to let your cat out during the day, but if you do, make sure you call them back in plenty of time before it gets dark. If your pet does unfortunately escape, be prepared and make sure they have up-to-date identification such as a microchip or collar tag, so they can be returned to you as quickly as possible. If you have pets that live outdoors, perhaps rabbits or guinea pigs in a hutch in your back garden, bring them inside just for one night where the noises will not only be masked, they will also have you around them and feel more comforted. It can often be necessary for these methods to be used with outdoor pets as there are less calming products available, meaning more traditional methods can be used.

For indoor pets that often go outside, like cats or dogs, make sure that once it gets dark, your furry friends are safe inside with you and don’t let them out until morning- the fireworks could spook them to a point that makes them run away, so take extra care to ensure they are not outside wandering when the fireworks start. If you are unable to bring your outdoor pets into the house for the evening, make sure you cover their cage with blankets and provide extra bedding inside the cage for them to curl up in. When the evening comes, make sure someone is at always at home with your pets, whether this is a cat, dog or other, you should never leave pets home alone on bonfire night if you can help it. Make sure lights are on in the house, curtains are closed to hide the flashes outside, and you have provided plenty of warm bedding and treats for your pet to make them feel at ease.

Try to mask the loud noises outside by having music playing inside, or perhaps put the television on instead so that your pets feel safe and have a distraction. Don’t comfort your pet if they start showing fearful behaviour, as this only makes them think that something is wrong- you must only intervene with your pet if they are hurting themselves due to stress. So, before you go out to enjoy the fireworks this year, take a moment to think about the welfare of your pets, ensuring they are as comfortable as they can be and are safe from harm.

Here at the Pet Medicine Company, we believe that the welfare of all animals is a top priority, but there is no reason to not enjoy your night! It is simply important to remember that animals do not enjoy it, as they don’t understand, so please take them into consideration and be prepared.