How to keep animals safe and calm at home on Bonfire Night

45 per cent of dogs in the UK are frightened by fireworks

Sarah Young,Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 05 November 2019 09:12
RSPCA on how to keep your pets safe during Bonfire Night

Although the restarting of an England-wide lockdown will mean many people have put their Bonfire Night plans on ice, there are likely to still be some fireworks set off during the course of the evening.

The 5 November is exciting for humans - but the celebrations that coincide with this time of year can be particularly stressful for pets.

In fact, the loud bangs and bright flashes that come with fireworks frighten an estimated 45 per cent of dogs in the UK, the RSPCA claims. 

The reason that fireworks are particularly terrifying for dogs is because they can hear four times the distance that a human can hear and can hear higher pitched sounds, at a frequency range of 67-45,000 Hz.

So, whether you have plans to watch fireworks at home or not, it’s important to make sure your pets are well looked after.

Luckily, the RSPCA says that there are lots of simple things you can do to help your pets deal with fireworks and the earlier you prepare, the better they will be able to cope with the noises.


You might want to consider talking to your vet about pheromone diffusers. These disperse calming chemicals into the room and may be a good option to help keep your dog relaxed.

If your dog is particularly anxious around loud noises in general, it might also be worth looking into behavioural therapy.

The organisation suggests keeping your dog at ease by:

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


Similarly cat owners should make sure that their pets have somewhere to hide if they want to such as a quiet corner or under some furniture. 

It’s also important not to try and tempt your cat out as this will cause them to become more stressed.

You should also make sure your cat is microchipped and kept in a safe and secure environment so they can’t escape if they’re suddenly startled by a loud noise.

Smaller animals

If your pets live outside, you can partly cover cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one area is sound-proofed. 

Just make sure that they are still able to look out.

In addition, you should provide lots of extra bedding for smaller pets to burrow in and consider bringing outdoor animals indoors. This should be done gradually, so you will need to plan ahead.


The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) is urging people to take care to check for hedgehogs on Bonfire Night.

The organisation says that people lighting bonfires should check them thoroughly beforehand “as hogs like to sleep in them”.

“Lift up the base and listen for any noises. Even better, move the bonfire completely before lighting, and light from one side only,” the BHPS states.

For all the latest news on Bonfire Night, click here.

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