Pets and fireworks

Why are pets scared of fireworks?

Many animals find fireworks scary. It's estimated that 45 percent of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks. It doesn’t have to be that way though, so don’t ignore the problem.

There are lots of simple things you can do to help your pet deal with fireworks. By preparing in advance before fireworks start your pet will be better able to cope with the noises.

Help us make fireworks less frightening for animals

How to calm dogs during fireworks

  • Walk them during daylight hours to avoid times when fireworks are likely to be set off
  • Close windows and curtains to muffle the sound of fireworks
  • Put on some music or tv to mask the firework sounds
  • Create a quiet space where your dog can feel in control
  • Create some hiding places around your home

Sound Therapy 4 Pets is a therapy pack available to teach your dogs to be less scared of loud noises.

Watch our top tips on keeping your pets safe and happy this fireworks season in our short three minute video. The video even includes how to build a 'Doggy Safe Den' !  

Cats

  • Provide hiding places in your home
  • Cats can become more stressed if they’re outside during fireworks
  • Microchip your cats in case they’re startled and escape outside

Small animals

  • Partly cover outside cages and pens with blankets so an area is soundproofed and hidden, but allow another area for the animals to look out
  • Provide bedding small animals can burrow in
  • Consider bringing them indoors – this will need to be done gradually so plan ahead

Keeping horses safe during fireworks

It’s not just animals in the home that can be scared of fireworks - horses can be too.

  • Check locally to see if there are going to be any firework displays in your area
  • Where possible - tell the organisers of firework displays that horses are nearby and ask them to set off their fireworks in the opposite direction
  • For top tips on keeping your horse safe and secure during the firework season - please follow the advice from the British Horse Society

How to treat firework phobia

Firework phobia is a treatable condition and animals don’t have to suffer such misery every year. Seek advice from your vet who will, if necessary, be able to refer you to a professional clinical animal behaviourist.

Acknowledgement for this information is made to Prof Daniel Mills. Read more about our Expert contributors.

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