Keeping wildlife and your pets safe during firework season.


fireworks

When the fireworks start Make sure your dog or cat always has somewhere to hide if they want to and has access to this place at all times. Close any windows and black out the ‘doggy play area’ to remove any extra problems caused by flashing lights. Each evening before the fireworks begin, move your dog to the play area and provide toys and other things that they enjoy. Make sure that there are things for you to do too so that your dog isn’t left alone. Ignore the firework noises yourself. Play with a toy to see if your dog wants to join in, but don’t force them to play.

 

Just for dogs 

Planning ahead can help dogs cope with the fireworks season. Talk to your vet about pheromone difusers. These disperse calming chemicals into the room and may be a good option for your dog – in some cases your vet may even prescribe medication.

Before the fireworks season starts, provide your dog with a doggy safe haven. This should be a quiet area so choose one of the quietest rooms in your home – it should be a place where they feel in control, so don’t interfere with your dog when they’re in that area. Train your dog to associate the area with positive experiences e.g. by leaving their favourite toys there but not imposing yourself at any time. Also, use a variety of chew toys, e.g. stuffed Kongs and chews and swap them regularly, putting them away when not in use so that your dog doesn’t become bored with them. With time dogs can learn that this place is safe and enjoyable. So when fireworks go off they may choose to go there because they know, in that place, no harm will come to them and so they are more able to cope. It is important that your dog has access to this doggy safe haven at all times even when you’re not at home.

Keeping cats and dogs secure

When the fireworks start Make sure your dog or cat always has somewhere to hide if they want to and has access to this place at all times. Close any windows and black out the ‘doggy play area’ to remove any extra problems caused by flashing lights. Each evening before the fireworks begin, move your dog to the play area and provide toys and other things that they enjoy. Make sure that there are things for you to do too so that your dog isn’t left alone. Ignore the firework noises yourself. Play with a toy to see if your dog wants to join in, but don’t force them to play.

 

Plan ahead!

Please only use fireworks on traditional celebration dates (such as New Year’s Eve or Bonfire Night) – most owners will already know to expect fireworks on these dates, and should have prepared accordingly to help their animals cope.  If you are using fireworks at any kind of celebration, please use lower-noise fireworks, as they will reduce the likely stress caused to animals.  Fireworks must not be set off near livestock and horses in fields. Make sure you give pet and farm animal owners in the neighbourhood advance warning of any fireworks display you are planning.  Firework debris and litter can harm animals so pick it all up after it has cooled down and dispose of it safely and responsibly.  Bonfires can be fatal for wild animals such as hedgehogs because a pile of leaves or wood is an attractive nesting place. Build a bonfire as near as possible to the time of lighting and disturb the bonfire – preferably by moving it, before lighting – checking carefully for animals hiding inside. Remember that some animals, like hedgehogs, may be hibernating and will not be immediately obvious.