Fireworks seem to be an invention of pure unbridled fun. When this rare explosive light display takes place, we find ourselves scarf-wrapped and mitten-clad in a local park chanting alternate “Oohs”s and “Aah”s with glittering eyes and frozen toes. Fireworks jubilantly mark shared celebrations, whether that be Guy Fawkes Night in the UK, July 4 in the US, or welcoming in a new year the world over. But sadly, not all creatures great and small can join in the party – we’re all too aware that pets & fireworks don’t mix.

If you’re a pet owner, you’ll be no stranger to the fact that animals and fireworks do not mix. The RSCPA says 45% of dogs display signs of fear when they hear fireworks, whilst the Blue Cross reports a significant spike in the number of pets running away from home or requiring calming medication to cope with the stress. As the Blue Cross reminds us, animals have very acute hearing, and loud bangs may cause real pain in their ears. Our poor furry friends are certainly not jubilantly celebrating.

Luckily, the RSPCA, the Blue Cross and PETA have come to the rescue to help us handle pets & fireworks. Their websites are teaming with useful tips on keep your pet chilled during those clamorous fireworks nights. We’ve split out their wise words according to which type of pet you have below…

Dogs & Fireworks

・ Go for a walk in the daytime when fireworks are less likely to be let off.

・ Make sure your dog is microchipped and your contact information is correct so your dog can be speedily returned to you if should they run away.

・ Keep all the windows and curtains closed to soften the bangs as much as possible.

・ Put on music or the TV to cover the fireworks, but of course not too loudly and only if your dog is used to these noises.

・ Create a quiet space where your dog can feel in control.

・ Create some hiding spaces in your home.

・ For more detailed information, read the Blue Cross’s helpful guide.

Cats & Fireworks

・ Ensure your cat is microchipped and your contact details on the chip are accurate so you can be swiftly reunited should your cat run away.

・ Keep your kitty inside and make sure the cat flaps are closed to prevent any sudden panicked escapes.

・ Again, closing the windows and curtains and putting the TV or radio on quietly will help distract from the loud explosions outside.

・ For more detailed information, read the Blue Cross’s helpful guide.

Smaller Pets & Fireworks

・ Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, ferrets and birds need extra care as they are easily scared.

・ Hutches or cages should be brought inside where possible to a quiet room, or to a garage or shed.

・ If it can’t be brought inside, it should face a wall rather than an open garden.

・ Provide extra bedding so your pet feels safe and snug.

・ Cover aviaries or hutches with a thick blanket or duvet to block out the light and muffle the sound of the fireworks, ensuring there is enough air ventilation.

・ For more detailed information, read the Blue Cross’s helpful guide.

Of course, it isn’t only our household pets that are affected by cacophonous fireworks, but wildlife as well. The New York Times reported that fireworks can spook entire flocks of birds; in 2011, 5000 red-winged blackbirds that fell from the sky in Arkansas after the New Year’s celebrations. Any animal within the vicinity of a firework display should be taken into consideration.

Thankfully, a growing section of the fireworks market is for quiet or low noise fireworks. For some events in the UK quiet fireworks are already required, whilst the town of Collecchio in Italy passed a law so all fireworks must be quiet. Plus, if you were planning on hosting a fireworks night yourself, they’re not at all hard to find – you can head straight to Fantastic Fireworks or Epic Fireworks to peruse their quiet fireworks ranges.

The advantage of quiet fireworks is that they tend to be more vivid, colourful and aesthetically pleasing, so exchanging a heart-stopping bang for a treat for the eyes seems like a pretty good deal. With more venues and members of the public demanding it, our eyes are glittering with hope that quiet fireworks will soon become the norm, so pets & fireworks won’t clash!

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