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Help Your Pet Cope with Fireworks

Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home’s Advice for Bonfire Night

While we might enjoy the whizz bang thrills of Bonfire Night pets are often frightened of fireworks. Owners can find November the Fifth a bit of an ordeal as most dogs and cats find the explosions, flashes of light and loud noises pretty scary.

Public events are often bigger, louder and brighter but at least they are usually well advertised so you can plan accordingly. However, the unpredictable nature of amateur back garden displays and the odd rogue firework or rocket being set off in close proximity are harder to deal with.


So here are our top tips to help your pet cope with fireworks.

  1. Make sure all windows, doors and curtains are closed which will help muffle the sounds of fireworks.
  2. Don’t leave your pet home alone. If your dog or cat finds Bonfire Night particularly stressful make sure you are home as your presence will go a long way to helping them feel safe and secure.
  3. A lot of pets cope by hiding, so provide a comfortable place in a dark, quiet corner or under a bed with their favourite toys and blankets. Comfort them if they need it but don’t try to coax them out, just let them relax as best they can until the fireworks are over. You can even add an item of your own clothing, as the scent should bring them some comfort.
  4. Plan in advance. Don’t let your cat out after dark if possible and try to get your dog walk in early, but keep them on the lead, you never know if a stray firework may be set off before sunset!
  5. Giving your pet a bath or a groom during the evening may provide a welcome distraction from the noise outside.
  6. Turn on some music or a film – not only will it help cover the sound of fireworks and distract your pet but studies have shown that some genres, including reggae and classical, can help relax dogs.
  7. Lead by example, stay calm and if your dog or cat remains calm when there are clearly audible fireworks, rewarding their behaviour may provide extra incentive to stay calm. Defiantly don’t punish them for reacting as this will make them even more anxious.
  8. Fireworks are one of the leading causes of pets running away from home, so again make sure all doors and windows are secured, and be certain your pet is microchipped!


For further advice or information, if your pet has gone missing, or if you’ve come across a lost dog or cat, phone Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home on 0131 669 5331.



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