Every year thousands of animals will suffer as a result of the festivities.
animal hospitals across the country see a marked rise in pets
requiring medication to calm them during this stressful period, and many
animals are brought into Blue Cross adoption centre's having run away from home.
Animals also have very acute hearing, and loud bangs and whistles cause them
actual pain in their ears. But by following these simple guidelines your pet
need not suffer.
DOGS AND CATS
ALWAYS keep dogs and cats inside when fireworks are being let off.
ALWAYS close all windows and doors, and block off
cat-flaps to stop pets escaping and to keep noise to a minimum. Draw the
curtains, and put the TV or radio on to block out some of the noise of the
NEVER take your dog to a firework display. Even if
your dog does not bark or whimper at fireworks it doesn’t mean he’s
happy. Behaviour such as panting and yawning can indicate that your
dog is stressed.
NEVER tie your dog up outside while fireworks are
being let off, i.e. outside a shop whilst you pop inside, or leave them in the
ALWAYS make sure your pet is wearing ID even in
the house. Ideally, they should have a collar and tag and a microchip, so that
if they do run away they have a better chance of being returned to you.
NEVER walk your dog while fireworks are going off.
Make sure your dog is walked earlier in the day before the fireworks start.
Prepare an Oden’ for your pet so he can feel comfortable, perhaps under a bed
with some of your old clothes where he can hide when the fireworks start. If
your pet does panic and hide in a corner leave him alone and do not try to coax
him out. He is just trying to make himself feel safer and should not be
NEVER shout at your pet if he is frightened, as
you will only make him more stressed. Ignore your pet if he paces around or
whines, and do not reassure him as this will only make him think there is
really something to worry about. Stay calm and act normally. Praise your pet
when he is calm.
If you leave your pet alone and come back to
find that he has been destructive, do not punish him as this shows he must have
been terrified. Try not to leave him alone again during this period.
Rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and
birds all need to be treated with special care when fireworks are being let
off. These animals are easily frightened, and can die of heart attacks as a
result of the loud noise. The Blue Cross advises that owners of small animals
should follow these precautions.
Hutches and enclosures should be brought into
a cool, quiet room indoors, or into a garage or shed.
Give your pet extra bedding to burrow into so
he feels safe.
If you cannot bring your pet’s hutch inside,
you should turn its enclosure around so that it faces a wall or fence instead
of the open garden.
Cover any aviaries or hutches with thick
blankets or a duvet to block out the sight of the fireworks and deaden the
sound of the bangs, but make sure there is enough ventilation.
HORSES AND PONIES
Fireworks must not be set off
near livestock or horses in fields. Anyone planning a firework display in a
rural area should warn neighbouring farmers in advance.
Obviously try to make sure that fireworks are
never set off near your horse’s field or stable. Wherever possible tell
neighbours and local fireworks display organisers that there are horses nearby
so that they can ensure fireworks are set off in the opposite direction to
Unfortunately, we are often not forewarned
about private fireworks displays so think and plan ahead for 5th November and
New Year’s eve and be proactive about finding out when other celebratory
occasions involving fireworks might occur.
Preferably keep your horse in his familiar
environment and in his normal routine with his companions, which will give him
If your horse is usually stabled keep him stabled,
if he is normally out in the field keep him there as long as it is safe, secure
and not near the fireworks display area.
Ensure that you or someone experienced stays
with your horse if you know that fireworks are being set off. This way you can
observe his behaviour, ensure that he remains safe and respond accordingly to
his reactions the next time. If you know your horse reacts badly, speak to your
vet or perhaps consider moving him for the night. It’s also worth looking at
the benefits of complementary therapies to help your horse stay calm. If your
horse is distressed don’t over comfort him as he will sense your anxiety
remain calm and positive.
Take care not to get in the way if your horse
becomes stressed as you may get hurt.
Don’t take the risk of riding when you think fireworks might be set off. If
you have to leave your horse in the care of another person ensure that you
leave clear instructions and contact details for your vet should any problems
“Blue Cross Code - Safety advice for pets during the fireworks season.” Fireworks are used for lots of celebrations around the UK, www.fireworks.co.uk/safety/pets-and-fireworks/blue-cross-code/.