Bonfire Nighttime, as well as loud and bright fireworks displays, can be frightening for your pets and other animals. Many animals are scared by loud fireworks and thunderstorms, but they can be kept calm with some forethought.
It's not surprising; animals have a much more acute, sensitive hearing, and the bangs of fireworks are far from soothing. Furthermore, while we understand that the noise is associated with a local celebration and is completely safe, our pets and local wildlife do not; to them, it is simply a warning sign.
Here are some tips for keeping our pets and other animals safe and peaceful during fireworks shows.
If there are any nearby displays, notify the organisers; they may be able to ensure that the fireworks are launched in the opposite direction, or they may reconsider the location for future displays if they are aware that horses or farm animals live nearby.
Maintaining your horse's routine and keeping them in their usual environment, as well as keeping them with their regular companions, is often the best way to keep them feeling secure rather than spooked. If they're usually out in the fields, let them stay there as long as it's safe to do so, and vice versa if they're traditionally stabled.
Make sure you know when and where any "major" fireworks displays are taking place in your region ahead of time so you can be prepared. Nothing is more frustrating than having a peaceful evening at home disturbed by loud noises that frighten your precious pet.
Keep your pets indoors and close all of your doors and windows, but leave internal doors open, so they don't feel 'trapped.' Draw the blinds, turn on the TV, or play music – preferably louder than usual – to drown out as much noise as possible. If your dog chooses to sit with you for comfort or hideaway wherever they feel safe, don't try to coax them out; this will make them more scared.
On the other hand, Cats will most likely discover their hiding spots and should be left alone when they do!
Provide extra bedding for rabbits, guinea pigs, and other small pets to help keep out the noise and make hiding simpler. As soundproofing, you might also cover their cage with a blanket.
It's not just your pets at home who need to be cared after on Bonfire Night; we all need to do our part to protect the local animals.
Hedgehogs looking for a warm place to rest during the winter months will find bonfires to be appealing. But they're not the only ones: toads, newts, and frogs have been known to curl up in bonfires, so it's critical to keep an eye out for any of these little critters.
Before lighting the bonfire, give it a thorough inspection with a torch, and if you discover any, gently remove them and set them somewhere safe and far away from the flames. It's a terrific idea to build an alternate shelter with tiny heaps of logs and leaves a safe distance out, as this will ideally keep wildlife away from the blaze in the first place. If you have any extra wood or leaves, don't burn them; instead, allow them to become wildlife habitats in the future!