For us, bonfire night is a magical evening. For our four-legged friends? Not so much! Loud bangs and unexpected or unfamiliar sounds can cause stress for our beloved animals, so it’s our job to ensure we make them as comfortable as possible. To help you out, we’ve put together 5 tips to help your pet have a relaxing, stress-free bonfire night.

Signs of stress to look out for this fireworks night

Before you start treating the problem, it’s important to recognise the symptoms. Of course, you know your pet better than anyone and are likely already tuned into their emotions, but here are some general behaviours to look out for:

  • Pacing or shaking
  • Burying or hiding themselves
  • Being vocal
  • Running off
  • Excessive drooling, panting, yawning or licking
  • Changes in eyes and ears

So now you can recognise some of the telltale signs and symptoms of stress, let’s look at 5 ways you can treat it.

5 tips to calm your pet during fireworks

  1. Play relaxing music to calm your pet and drown out the noise of fireworks
  2. Ensure window and curtains are closed to help muffle loud bangs and stop any sudden flashes of light spooking your pet
  3. Create a safe haven for your pet to relax in – for a dog this could be a quieter area of your home with their bed and a collection of their favourite toys. For a cat, this could be a room with plenty of hiding places.
  4. Stay home to comfort and reassure your pet during their hour of need – they are there for you so now it’s your turn to give back!
  5. Reward their bravery with one (or two) of their favourite treats – introducing a new stimulating toy, for example, will keep your pet occupied and help them to forget about the racket outside

Other things to note

  • If your pet requires a daily walk, be sure to do this during the daytime to avoid fireworks
  • If you have an outdoor cat, try to ensure they are kept in during the evenings around bonfire night
  • Outdoor animals such as rabbits? Consider moving their hutch inside to minimise stress during this period
  • If your pet gets particularly stressed by fireworks, you may want to consider investing in a pheromone diffuser ahead of next year – they are a great way to ease pet stress and anxiety, however, they do need to be introduced at least a couple of weeks ahead of time to really take effect

Remember that it’s totally normal for your pet to be afraid of fireworks, and it’s up to you to make them feel safe and secure during this stressful time.