2. Animal safety and fireworks
- Keep your cat indoors
- Close all windows and curtains and switch on music or the television to drown out the noise
- Leave your cat to take refuge in a corner if it wishes. Do not try to tempt it out as this could cause more stress
- Make sure your cat is micro-chipped to ensure it can be returned to you if it escapes and becomes lost
- Exercise your dog during the day
- Never walk your dog while fireworks are being let off
- As with cats, keep your dog indoors, close the curtains and play music or turn on the television to drown out the noise
- Let your dog hide if it wants to take refuge under furniture or in a corner
- Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and tag and is micro-chipped in case it bolts and becomes lost
To further minimise distress, ask your vet about the Dog Appeasing Pheromone. It is a synthetic version of a chemical produced by a bitch shortly after she has given birth. The pheromone reassures newborn puppies and naturally calms them down. Scientists have discovered it also helps calm older dogs as well.
A simple plug-in diffuser that disperses the chemical into the room is available at some veterinary practices. It is safe and easy to use.
If your dog is particularly prone to becoming very distressed, discuss sedatives with your vet. Remember, these should be given before the firework noise begins to allow them to take effect.
Rabbits and guinea pigs and other small animals living outside should not be forgotten. They can also become very stressed from loud noise. Bring small animals indoors or into an outhouse or garden shed to give them extra protection.
Horses often bolt from firework noise and become injured. Always make sure horses, ponies and donkeys are stabled while fireworks are being let off. Make sure fireworks are not in view by closing the stable door.
Bonfires can be fatal for wildlife such as hedgehogs, which often crawl in to them to sleep. Build bonfires as late as possible to reduce this risk and make sure you disturb the foundations of the bonfire to give any wildlife a chance to escape before it is lit.
Always clear up after a fireworks party - litter is hazardous to domestic and wild animals.