How to keep animals & pets safe on Bonfire Night

Posted on October 17, 2016

Bonfire Night is that exciting time of year where we all gather around a cosy bonfire and enjoy a mesmerising sky filled with bright colourful fireworks. With all the excitement, it can be easy to forget smaller responsibilities like how to keep animals and your pets safe from bonfires and fireworks. If you thought there was no way around it, think again because these really easy and simple steps can have your pets feel comfortable on the evening and can save the lives of many outdoor animals!

Keep hedgehogs safe from bonfires 

Recent years have seen a significant decline in hedgehogs in the UK. Though there is a lack of precise statistics on the subject, there was an estimate of 36.5 million hedgehogs in Britain during the 1950’s which reduced to only 1.55 million by 1995. Further evidence gathered over recent years have seen an even further decline suggesting that we may soon lose the pleasure of seeing the prickly creatures in outdoor spaces.

Hedgehogs search for dry and protected habitats over the winter and so when they come across an enormous pile of dry wood they instantly settle on it as an ideal place to shelter. So what can you do to prevent putting them in danger?

Usually when we give top advice and tips, we put great emphasis on planning fireworks and bonfire events in advance to ensure everything runs smoothly but on this occasion we recommend that you avoid building your bonfire days ahead of the event. You could have your pile of wood ready and move it to your desired location on the day so you can be assured that any creatures are removed before setting it alight.

If you have extra wood, why not build a hedgehog hibernacula to keep them away from the bonfire? Hedgehogs are also attracted to bushes and nests of greenery so you could add leaves and grass cuttings to the spare wood.

Keeping cats and dogs safe from fireworks 

Your pets will be used to spending time outdoor so you must plan in advance before November 5th and even New Years Eve.

  1. Take your dog out for a walk and allow your cat to go outside during the early hours of the day.
  2. Ensure your pets are inside the house in the evening.
  3. Close all windows, door and block cat flaps to prevent your pets from escaping.
  4. Draw curtains to reduce the visibility of firework lights.
  5. Play music that will enable your pets to get used to the loud noise. This video we commissioned plays music to train your pet to not be frightened as it begins with soft firework effects and gradually increases in volume.

Keeping small pets safe from fireworks 

Owners of smaller animals such as rabbits, birds and guinea pigs can put a number of measures in place to avoid them feeling frightened during the fireworks season.

  1. The first thing to do is bring their cage indoors into a quiet room with the least exposure to the noise and effects of the fireworks.
  2. If the fireworks can still be viewed from the window, cover the cage with a thick blanket.
  3. Provide extra bedding your pet can hide under to feel safe.

pets on bonfire night

Putting these measures in place not only means that you can enjoy Bonfire Night with your loved ones but also be assured that no animals are affected in the process.

Many companies like Fantastic Fireworks offer Quiet Fireworks which do not upset domestic animals and pets.