Top Tips For Taking Care Of Your Pet On Bonfire Night*

*This is a collaborative post*

None of us want to see our pets upset or in distress. But, Bonfire Night is one of the worst times of year for almost all animals across the UK and many pet owners struggle to find ways to help the situation.

Fortunately, there are ways you can alleviate anxiety and make the evening easier. Teaming up with dog food and pet products supplier, Feedem, we’ve put together the best methods you can use to create a calm and stress-free evening for your animals.

How do you know when you need to act?

You probably spotted the signs last year, but there are several indicators. Here, we’ve broken them down, pet by pet: 

Dogs and cats

High heart rate
Running away
Refusing food
Climbing on or hiding behind furniture 

Rodents and guinea pigs

Shaking tails
Wide eyes
Rapid breathing
Stiffened bodies
Running at walls
Hiding in corners
Puffing up their coats


Biting when picked up
Stamping feet
Not moving
Trying to escape

Protecting dogs and cats 

To protect dogs and cats, you need to firstly bring them inside before the fireworks get going. Walk dogs earlier in the day — no evening strolls — and make sure your cat can’t get out of its cat flap during the night. The next step is to minimise noise. Make sure all windows and doors are shut, draw the curtains and turn up televisions and radios to drown out firework noise.

Although hiding is a symptom of distress, it might actually be calming your dog or cat. Some pets want to be held or stroked to soothe their distress, while others want to be alone. If it’s the latter, don’t try and coax them into doing something else — this could be more distressing. Instead, make a den out of clothes and towels and give them lots of praise during periods of calm.

The number one rule is: don’t leave your pets alone on Bonfire Night. Sometimes, all they need to calm down is comfort and attention, so avoid going out on the 5th of November. If you think your pet is especially distressed at this time of year, there are tablets, powders and droplets to help relieve anxiety. Just make sure to get advice from your vet first.

Protecting smaller pets

To start, outdoor pets need to be brought inside on Bonfire Night, just like dogs and cats. The best places are sheds, garages and very quiet rooms; somewhere away from hustle and bustle but barriered from the noise of the night. When this isn’t possible, turn their hutches around to face a wall or fence to help them feel safer.

Also, it’s a good idea to place extra straw and bedding in their cages around the 5th of November. Because rodents and rabbits burrow and hide when threatened, this additional warmth and cushioning will make them feel more protected. Finally, if you want a real firework distraction, give them a treat! Eating’s a great way to divert attention, even from loud bangs and bright lights!

Keeping pets calm on Bonfire Night is no easy task, but following these simple tips will go a long way to alleviating most of their anxieties.

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