Prepare pets for firework season with advice from the PDSA

FIREWORKS can be super scary for our pets. 

According to the 2022 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, 41 per cent of dogs and 30 per cent of cats are scared of fireworks – that’s 4.1 million dogs and 3.3 million cats across the UK.

“Fireworks can be very scary and stressful for our pets,” explains PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing. “It’s difficult for them to understand that they aren’t and shouldn’t be in danger when they hear or see fireworks, but as their senses are much stronger than ours, they experience fireworks so much more intensely than we do.

“Fortunately, there are plenty of little things you can do to keep your cats and dogs calm throughout fireworks season, and the earlier you start, the easier it will be on the night!”

Preparation is key 

• Check the dates of any nearby firework displays so you know when to expect the loud bangs and flashes

• Make sure you have curtains/blinds on all your windows and close them to block out the flashes of light

• Shut and secure all windows, doors and cat flaps and play some music or have the TV on to drown out some of the noise outside

• Build pets a safe haven den

• Ensure your pet’s microchip details are up-to-date to give you a better chance of being reunited if they run away from home

• Plug in a pheromone diffuser

Create a “safe space” for them by making a firework den 

“A cosy, safe den can help your pet feel safe and secure if they are frightened on fireworks night,” suggests Nina.

• Make it somewhere they go when they feel worried. Cats often feel safest when they’re up high, so they’ll probably like their den to be on a shelf, on top of a wardrobe, or in the top of a cupboard. A covered cat bed is ideal for helping them feel protected, but make sure it’s well secured and won’t fall off wherever you put it. Dogs may prefer their den behind the sofa, under a table, in a crate, or inside a big, safe, empty cupboard. You know your pet best!

• Make the den and give them treats/praise when they go in so they think of it as a nice place

• Make it as enclosed as possible by using an enclosed bed, a cardboard box, or by draping blankets over whatever you’re using

• Make it comfortable with their bed or lots of cushions and blankets, put some of their favourite toys and treats in it, too

• Give them access to it at all times, but never force them into it or shut them inside it

• Make sure they have a bowl of water very near to it

• Don’t be disheartened if they don’t use it, or choose to hide somewhere else

• Keep an eye on them when they’re in the den, but don’t disturb them - if they’re in it, it’s likely they want to be alone

• Never force them out of the den even if they’ve been in it for a long time – just make sure they have access to food and water.

For more information and to download PDSA’s free fireworks guide, visit: .