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I adore Autumn and everything about it. Including bonfire night and fireworks. I’ve always had such a fascination for fireworks and that time around bonfire night has always been one of my favourite times of year. To me, it signifies a time to get together with family or friends, let go of the year so far and just enjoy each others company whilst watching the magic that fireworks bring to the sky. But of course, for pets, this time of year can be hugely detrimental.

dogs and fireworks

Photo by Jack Brind on Unsplash

I’m actually VERY lucky in that my dog has absolutely no reaction to fireworks whatsoever. He’s completely un-phased. In fact, the first year we got him, he came outside to watch the fireworks with us! Which I know is not the norm and far from the experience most people have with their pets when it comes to firework night.

Related read: 11 Healthy Ways To Spoil Your Dog

One year, we had to look after my aunts dog (who’s sadly passed away now) for a week whilst my aunt and uncle were on holiday. During that week, we had a DREADFUL storm. Some of the worst thunder and lightening I’ve ever heard myself and this dog was absolutely terrified. I’ve never seen a dog so scared of something in my life.

Related read: What I Wish I Knew When We Trained Our Dog

She was shaking uncontrollably. Wouldn’t let me near her. And would crawl into the smallest spaces around our house that she could find to try and get away from the noise which obviously wasn’t safe for her to do so. So although in that situation, it wasn’t fireworks that were the problem but it’s an example of how sudden change can have such a dramatic impact on pets.

So today we’re going to look at some ways that you can help and support your pet during what might be a very traumatic period of time for them:

Don’t walk your dog when fireworks are likely to go off

Bit of an obvious one to start with but still worth mentioning nonetheless. During firework season, if possible, try and take your dog for a walk during a calm time of the day – like fairly early in the morning. If you have other pets that require outdoor time, make sure it’s early and they’re inside before 5pm.

Consider natural calming remedies

A natural calming spray for dogs might be a great addition to the care your give your four legged friend during this stressful time. Broadreach Nature provide plenty of products to aid your dog (or cat!) in relaxation including sprays, soft chews and capsules. Each product is a special blend of fragrance extracts to simulate canine pheromones and help provide a feeling of reassurance.

Create a safe haven for them at home

Just like us humans need a safe environment to go to when we’re stressed or sad, pets can benefit from that too. So create a little corner of the house filled with cosy blankets, their favourite toys, a spritz of the relaxing room spray and a few treats so they know this space is filled with their favourite things.

Keep the TV or a radio on to help mask the sound of the fireworks

You’re never going to drown out the sound of fireworks entirely. In case you haven’t heard a firework before – THEY’RE LOUD. But having additional noise on will at least help mask the sound. The TV and the radio are good options because they’re noises that your pet is already familiar with.

Keep your blinds and curtains closed

The noise from fireworks isn’t the only thing that will alarm your pet. The bright lights can also be daunting too. So a simple solution for this is the keep your blinds and curtains closed – preferably before the fireworks begin. For something extra, you might want to invest in blackout blinds too.

Allow your pet free reign of the house

For safety reasons, you won’t want to lock your pet in one room as they might hurt themselves trying to get out and it’s only going to make them more anxious and agitated. So try to allow them as much of the house as possible but make sure the front and back doors are securely locked. The last thing you want is a scared pet bolting and putting themselves in danger.

Don’t react to fireworks yourself

Our pets are sensitive to our own reactions and feelings. I know with my own dog that if I jump at something, he’ll likely bark too. So during firework season, try and ensure your pet doesn’t see you reacting to the fireworks. Of course this won’t work with all animals but it’s always worth a try.

Get help from your vet if it progresses

And finally, if it’s REALLY bad and you’ve done everything in your power to try and calm your pet during firework season and nothing is working take them straight to the vet. It won’t be anything your vet hasn’t seen before and they may be able to prescribe something to take the edge off.

How do you comfort your pet during firework season? Do you have anything to add to this list?

53 Comments

  1. The fireworks have already started here and my cats are going mad. Luckily they are never out at night when the fireworks are most likely, and both tend to have a safe hiding spot in the house where they can curl up and feel protected. Other than that I use Felineway to calm them as best as I can. It can be so hard because there’s no way of making them feel reassured other than lots of cuddles and hiding places.

  2. We’ve heard fireworks already – ridiculous! Our dog (when we were kids), was terrified of thunder as she had been caught in a fire with her puppies, all of whom died. She then came to live with us and we’d lie under the table or behind the sofa with her, if there was ever a storm x

  3. I don’t have a pet but I do remember looking after a dog once and he was terrified of the fireworks! So I made him a little dog den and he loved it and I sat in there with him and it was great xx

  4. Really good advice – our Ted tries to fight the fireworks, so this year we’re going to try turning the TV up loud and having family cuddle time in the lounge. Fingers crossed!

    George

  5. Our dog is terrified of storms…she sleeps right next to our bed if there is any storm activity at all. She is not crazy about fireworks either! We keep her indoors as she does not like the noise. Very good tips!

  6. Great post! Have forwarded to my friend as her dogs hate fireworks. It wouldn’t be so bad if people did it on one night only but sometimes it can happen for weeks! I’m lucky my cats aren’t bothered.

  7. One thing I hate about Bonfire Night is how badly it affects pets, it makes me so sad when I think of a dog or cat being scared of fireworks and the noises they bring. With my cats in the past, we’ve shut the curtains early and turned up the TV so they didn’t hear the noises too much, they used to always curl up on my lap when they were scared! My Aunty’s dog (a golden retriever) used to love fireworks! She used to go crazy and jump towards the sky like she was trying to catch them! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

  8. Hugo gets so so so scared of fireworks, the first time he heard one he jumped into my arms mid-walk. He shakes every time I try to walk him in the dark until mid-December, then New Year happens and the cycle repeats itself. We always try to leave the TV on loud and sit close so he can tuck in for a little cuddle when he starts to get scared but it breaks my heart every year. I was hoping covid would mean there would be less of it this year but people have started letting them off near me already x

  9. This is great advice. I love how pretty fireworks are but I am not a huge fan of them.

    I think they should only be used at organised events, although I guess those won’t happen so much this year so private ones will be the only way we will get to see any.

    My cat is daft, I don’t think he even notices them. He insists on being outdoors all the time! Rain or shine!

  10. What a thoughtful post! I’m glad you’ve given such tips. My area doesn’t get fireworks but my dogs are TERRIFIED of thunder, they start barking hysterically and hide under tables. Loud noises really aren’t great for timid animals!

  11. Super useful Tips! and Your dog is super cute!
    Thanks for sharing

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  12. I actually forgot that this will be coming soon and I know that fireworks night and this season can be really distressing for pets. This post is really helpful for pet owners and for anyone who plans to have fireworks in their gardens!

    Rosie

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