Six ways to make Bonfire Night less petrifying for your pets
With darker winter months creeping ever closer, fireworks will be at the forefront of most outdoor festivities, but it isn't all fun and games for our pets.
Although most people thoroughly enjoy the magical displays at this time of year, this often isn’t the case for our furry friends at home.
The flashing bangs not only frighten our pets but cause us, as the owners, to panic over the stress it causes for them.
Lucy Askew, from blind company Hillarys, has pulled together her top tips on ensuring your pets feel comfortable as possible at home on Bonfire Night.
Create a safe space
A warm, cosy home always makes for a content pet - even more so during the mayhem of firework season.
Firstly, keep an eye on the temperature to ensure its toasty for your furry friends as this’ll help to settle and comfort them.
Line your pets’ crates, baskets, and cages with cosy blankets and fill them with their favourite toys and treats.
If you’re able to, try draping a sheet over the top of their safe space to help absorb any outside noise as well, this’ll help to create soundproofed hiding places for your pets if they become increasingly stressed.
Block out the noise
As mentioned above, creating safe spaces in your home provide hiding places for your pets that’ll help to muffle any noise and light from outside.
To prevent this further, make sure to close your windows and curtains, and put on some music or the TV - as this will aid in masking the firework sounds, while creating a quiet space where your anxious animals can feel in control.
You could even repurpose your socks to create DIY earmuffs for your panicked pooches.
Not only will this help to quieten the distressing noises, but it’ll create the calming sensation of being cuddled.
While you’re out enjoying the outdoor festivities that come with the winter months, it can be distressing not knowing whether your pets are safe and happy at home.
Fortunately, you can stay connected via smart home cameras which allow you to monitor how your animals are doing, wherever you are.
What’s more, the two-way function even allows you to speak to your pets from afar – so if they’re unsettled by the fireworks, you can either settle them down with your soothing voice or know when to rush back to give them a snuggle.
Calming colours and soothing smells
Chromotherapy has been proven to promote calmness with animals and even reduce their anxiety levels.
Try dimming your lights before you go out to create a cosy ambience, or you can even control the brightness of your home using your smartphone (if you live in a smart home), while you’re away from your pets, to help them feel more settled.
Some scents also have the power to comfort animals, particularly those that remind them of home.
So, arm yourself with several of your most-used sprays and plug-in fragrances ahead of Bonfire Night (even try spritzing a little on your pets’ favourite toys and blankets).
Try asking your vets about pheromone diffusers as well, there are several products that are synthetic copies of the natural pheromones that provide comforting effects for cats and dogs.
As with any big occasion, preparation is key, so make sure you’re aware of when local firework displays will be taking place because you’ll need to plan accordingly.
Simply search online for upcoming events, check on local Facebook groups, and ask your neighbours if they’re planning on hosting any bonfire parties.
Then, you’ll know to keep your petrified pups and cautious kitties indoors before it gets dark, and the fireworks start.
As for any smaller outdoor animals such as rabbits and Guinea pigs, partly cover cages, pens, and aviaries with blankets, covers or even old carpets to muffle sound and block light.
Doggy day care
Taking your dog for a few longer walks during the daytime will help tire them out, making them calmer during the evening celebrations.
Similarly, for cats and smaller animals ensure to have lengthy play sessions with them, so they’ll feel sleepier at night meaning they’re more likely to sleep through the noise.
Additionally, pets may lose their appetite due to the stress that ear-splitting fireworks evoke, so make to feed your pets slightly earlier before the fireworks start to ensure they don’t go hungry.
You could even try giving your pets treats that contain natural calming ingredients, such as chamomile.