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Tips to keep your pets safe & happy this Guy Fawkes

Tips to keep your pets safe & happy this Guy Fawkes

While Guy Fawkes might be an exciting event on the calendar for us, it can be quite the opposite for our pets. The loud noises and bright flashes of light can be very frightening to animals, and many animals can become highly distressed. This can lead to animals running away, going missing, injuring themselves, and becoming susceptible to traffic accidents.

Keep your pets safe & happy this Guy Fawkes with our top tips:


Check your pets microchip, collar and ID tag details are up to date.
Each year many pets are reported missing, ensuring your pets details are up to date will help them get home if your pet does get scared and run from your property.
Click here to check and update your details held on your pets microchip with the New Zealand Companion Animal Register.

Be prepared with anxiety relief products.
Having anxiety relief products on hand will help minimise stress, we recommend products such as the Thundershirt or natural sprays like Feliway (for cats) and Adaptil (for dogs) which helps calm pets. To learn more about how you can help reduce your pet’s anxiety, check out our cat and dog anxiety articles.

Feed your pets before the fireworks start.
A full stomach should help your pet relax and make them sleepy.

Walk your dog early.
Ensure that on Guy Fawkes night you take the dogs out for a longer walk early in the day to avoid being out walking in the early evening or evening when fireworks could be set off and scare your pet. By walking your pet for longer than normal you are also helping to tire them out so they are more likely to rest and go to sleep early.

Keep your pets safe inside.
No matter what type of pet you have, it's best to keep them indoors on Guy Fawkes night so they won’t see the flashes and the bangs will be muffled. Once you have your pet safely inside close the doors, windows and the curtains and turn up the volume on your radio or TV to disguise the sounds of the fireworks. Plus, remember to keep the cat doors locked for the night!

Before securing your pets inside for the night, remember to take your dog outside for a toilet stop before the fireworks start. For our feline friends, make sure you provide them with an indoor litter tray.

Bring the hutch inside.
Since our small pets are easily frightened, it’s important to bring your hutch inside for the night. If you’re worried about the mess lay down a tarp or some old sheets on the floor. Remember, rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals have excellent hearing which means the bangs and vibrations can seem much louder than they do to humans.

Note: If you can’t bring your pets inside the house, move their hutch inside the garage or shed. However, if this isn’t possible, you should turn the hutch around so that it faces a wall or fence instead of the open garden. Cover the hutch with thick blankets or a duvet to block out the sight of the fireworks and attempt to soundproof the cage, but make sure there is enough ventilation.

Provide a safe space.
Creating a ‘den’ for dogs and providing enough hiding spaces for cats will help them retreat to this safe space and stay calm. Provide small pets with extra bedding, such as an extra handful of extra fresh straw, a cosy blanket or a miniature box filled with rags. Extra bedding will allow your pet to burrow and hide which can be incredibly calming for small animals.

Have your pets favourite snuggle toy and bed ready for them.
Providing your pets with these items will help them to feel comfortable.

If your pets want to hide, that's ok - let them.
Trying to get them to come out of hiding may stress them out more.

Avoid cuddling your dog when they are scared!
We know it can be hard to resist cuddles, but try not to reward your dog for being afraid.

Keep your pets busy with fun distractions.
A good way to help your pet relax is to offer them distractions to keep their mind off the fireworks such as enrichment or food-stuffed toys like Kongs to give the dog something to focus on other than the noise. Slow feeding puzzles are also good as they help to make your pet work for their food keeping them busy and active.

Keep in mind that for some animals, fireworks can be a real phobia and may need to be treated with medication. If you suspect your pet may be suffering from anxiety, or are concerned about your pet's level of stress during fireworks, book an appointment at your local Animates Vetcare clinic.

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