Helping wildlife during bonfire night and Halloween

24 October 2023

How to help animals and wildlife during Fireworks Night and Halloween.

As darker nights draw in, Animals Voice offers a range of advice for pet owners due to troubles often caused by the approaching fireworks during Halloween and Bonfire night.

Over 60% of the UK population are pet owners, and many of our pets don't understand fireworks or the noise and flashes they bring.

Fireworks can easily frighten dogs, cats, rabbits and horses, setting off their stress response. In return, this can make them perform specific negative behaviours, including going to the toilet in the house or even attempting to escape from the garden. Some pets can become destructive or tremble in fear. Fortunately, there are ways to lower the risks from fireworks and reduce the stress on your pets.

There is usually a range of products vets recommend to help calm your dog if they are frightened of fireworks.

Try to walk your dog in the daylight before fireworks are likely set off. When you get home, draw your curtains and close your windows, which should help lessen the sounds of fireworks; if you have blackout blinds, this should also help. Watch television or play music to help block the noise from fireworks. When dogs feel stressed, they often drink more, so make sure they have plenty of water in their bowls.

Before fireworks night approaches, find a space where your dog can enjoy toys while feeling safe. You can also place a bed there and allow them access anytime. This can make them feel more comfortable as fireworks are set off. Your dog might want to play with you or seek reassurance, so whichever they choose, help them in the relevant way. Try to keep calm and carry on as usual as possible, as this could also stress your dog.

Ensure you bring your cats in, if you can, before the dark sets in.

Ensure your cat's microchip is up to date. Allowing them a space where they can hide indoors, and you can bring them inside to avoid them becoming startled or frightened by the fireworks.

If you plan to light a bonfire on bonfire night, check through it before you burn it, as wildlife may be resting in it, especially hedgehogs, frogs or toads.