WHILE many people enjoy the celebrations on Bonfire Night, it can be a stressful time for pets and pet owners.

Loud bangs and flashing lights caused by firework displays are known to cause increased levels of anxiety and stress for our four-legged friends.

Hayley Bradley, of north Shropshire-based Hector’s Greyhound Rescue, has called on the public to be mindful of the impact fireworks have on pets during this year’s celebrations.

She said: “Our main concern this year, because of Covid, a lot of the organised displays aren’t allowed to go ahead.

“So the concern is more of the public will be celebrating it at home, so there will be more garden fireworks which will cause a lot more disruption for animals.

“For people who aren’t familiar with dogs and other pets, they wouldn’t really take into consideration the impact it has on these animals as they may not have seen it.

“It can cause a lot of anxiety for animals and can even result in the animal losing its life – that is the biggest issue for a lot of dogs and cattle.”

With a week to go until Bonfire Night, we asked Hayley for five tips on how to help your dogs, and other pets, relax on Bonfire Night.

Make your pet comfortable and secure

HAYLEY explained how making your pet feel comfortable and secure can help to reduce levels of anxiety.

This means allowing your dog, for example, to get comfortable in their usual comfort zone within the house.

Hayley said: “This could be under your bed, under the stairs or under the couch if that’s possible.

“This allows them to find their safe place.”

Close curtains in the house

THIS is to reduce the stress caused by the flashing lights produced by firework displays.

Closing the curtains will reduce the likelihood of a pet becoming spooked by the bright flashes.

Drown out the noise

BEING able to nullify the loud, explosive noises given off by fireworks will also make your pet more at ease on Bonfire Night.

A good way to do this is to ensure there is enough background noise in the house, and in particular the room in which your pet is, to drown out fireworks.

Hayley said: “Using radios, music, and anything else to drown out the bangs can be effective.”

Therapy products

HAYLEY also explained how therapy products, including Adaptil and Rescue Remedy can be effective to help dogs relax.

It is important you consult your pet’s vet before you begin using any therapy products.

Do not re-enforce dog’s fears

ALTHOUGH giving your dog a big cuddle to make them feel better may seem like the best idea, this can re-enforce their fear of the situation.

Hayley said: “If you over-cuddle your pet, it can re-enforce their fears.

“You can try making them feel more comfortable in other ways as previously mentioned but try not to overdo it with reassurance.”

Those planning on having a display can also do their bit, with silent fireworks now available.

Hayley added: “David Clough, the Oswestry Market manager, ensured silent fireworks were used at last year’s celebrations.

“It was applauded by everybody as the display was a success and minimises the risk of causing stress to animals.

“I would certainly encourage other people to use these too.”