Bonfire Night can be a traumatic time for pets and pet parents alike, filled with sudden loud noises, startling bangs and frightening flashes.
With 3.2 million households acquiring new pets since the beginning of lockdown, there will be more families and four-legged friends affected by the whizz-bangs than ever before.
With the celebrations being cancelled last year due to the second lockdown, many firework events this year are claiming they will be ‘bigger and better than ever’. While many of us might be looking forward to getting back to normality with a night of festivities, our four-legged friends won’t share the same excitement.
This Bonfire Night, Lily’s Kitchen – the award-winning producer of proper food for pets – is urging the public to only light fireworks* between 7-8pm on 5th November to limit the stress caused for our perfect pets.
By limiting fireworks to one hour, our furry friends can get back to chewing shoes and purring on the sofa in no time, whilst two legged companions can still enjoy the delights of the sky being lit up and celebrate Bonfire Night.
For those who want to go the extra mile, supermarkets have even started selling low-noise fireworks. But make sure to still light them between 7-8pm, as the bright flashes can still cause stress for pets.
Lily’s Kitchen’s resident vet – Rodney Zasman – has also shared his top tips on how to keep pets happy this Bonfire Night.
Create a den
Build a warm and cosy space filled with your pet’s favourite toys, chews and snacks so that they have somewhere to hide while the fireworks fly outside. Lily’s Kitchen’s Bedtime Biscuits contain soothing ingredients that are the perfect treat for Bonfire Night and will be great to give pups while in their safety den. And if your pet is especially nervous, plug a pheromone diffuser into the same room that will help calm the nerves.
Break the routineWhile we would usually recommend keeping to a regular schedule, cats and dogs should be fed early on Bonfire Night, and make sure to take pups out for a walk while it’s still bright and before the bangs begin.
While it might be an obvious tip, make sure to keep all doors and windows closed so that pets are kept safely inside. Close the curtains, turn on the lights and play your pet’s favourite music to drown out the noise as best you can.
Personalise your pet’s collar
This is a great chance to jazz up your pet’s collar and get them a shiny new, engraved one. And if your pet hasn’t been microchipped, now is the time to organise it so that you know where your pet is if they get spooked and run off.
Introduce them to the big bangs
While owners might find the crackle and pop of fireworks exciting, they can be a bit scary for pets who don’t know what they are. In the days and weeks leading up to Bonfire Night, show your pet some firework recordings so that they know there’s nothing to be worried about.
Like they always say, pets are like their owners; so if you stay relaxed your pet will too. Play with your pet if they come with you for cuddles, but be aware they might want to stay in the safety of their little hideaway you have created. And never tell them off if they’re whining, barking or meowing as this may increase their stress.
Take a chill pill (for extreme measures only!)
There are some dogs and cats that still exhibit extreme anxiety despite all you do, and as a last resort your vet will be able to prescribe the most suitable medication for your pet.
Fireworks should only ever be lit outdoors under appropriate adult supervision, following all safety rules. Never approach a firework that has failed to light.