Remember, remember the 5th of November – but don’t forget your animal friends
Every autumn, people in their thousands wrap-up warm and step out into the night to marvel at gasp-worthy firework displays. Although we’re aware that fireworks are for pleasure, and are (for the most part) not dangerous, animals have no way of knowing this. So, it’s important for us to make sure that animal anxiety is limited, and they remain safe and sound.
The weekend is sure to host many celebrations before the big night on Monday, in preparation for the celebrations, take a look at our ten ways to keep animals safe and happy on Bonfire Night:
1) Keep cats and dogs inside at night, and if possible, stay with them.
2) If you can, bring inside small animals (like rabbits), but if you’re unable to, partly cover the outside of cages and pens with blankets to create an area that is soundproofed and hidden, but allow another area for the animals to look out from.
3) Never take your dog with you to watch a display.
4) Don’t leave animals tethered to chains or leads outside, as they can seriously hurt themselves if they leap over a fence when they hear a noise.
5) Close your windows and curtains. Turn on a radio that’s tuned to a classical-music station, or switch on the TV, to help drown out the sound of the fireworks.
6) Make sure that your animal companion is wearing a collar or a harness with an up to date name tag – just in case they get frightened and escape.
7) Don’t build a bonfire in advance – construct it just before lighting to ensure wild animals have not moved in to take shelter. If the materials for your fire have been left out in advance, please carefully turn everything over, or relocate the materials before lighting (the easiest way to do this, is to slide broom handles under and turn it over onto a new spot).
8) Choose a suitable location for your bonfire – pick a spot clear of leaves and other debris, and keep the fire well away from hedgerows and large shrubs, where animals may be roosting.
9) At the end of the night, dampen down the embers of your fire with water, to ensure the area has safely cooled down, just in case curious animals explore.
10) Consider buying quiet or lower-noise fireworks, as the loud bangs can be distressing for animals.