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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

In the UK the period between November and January is the time for firework displays in celebration of Guy Fawkes night, then Xmas and New Year. Animals often get distressed and should be protected from exposure to fireworks. 

Bright flashes and loud bangs can be very frightening to animals and result in abnormal behavioour from fear-induced reactions such as hiding, destroying furniture, urinating in the house, continuous barking or running away to more serious problems such as stress-related abortion in pregnant animals. 

Fireworks should not be let off near animals and outdoor animals such as cats should be kept in when firework displays are occurring in the neighbourhood. If  pets are particularly nervous there are several options :

  • Keep them in a dark, quiet room, preferably a room in  the house at the furthest point from the fireworks
  • If necessary have them looked after by a friend or relative in different neighbourhood
  • Put them into a rural kennels for the period
  • In some cases your vet may advise tranquillizers if your pet is especially frightened

Bangers should not be let off anywhere near animals, and children should be advised not to frighten them - especially deliberately. Horses can cause a lot of damage to themselves if they are "spooked" as they may charge into, or try to get over obstacles such as barbed wire fences, with little or no sense of the damage they are doing to themselves.

Bonfires and home firework displays present a greater risk of accidents than properly organised events, so think twice before you organise a display at your home if you have pets. Don't allow pets to roam around unattended as they can cause an accident just as easily as uncontrolled children !

If you must  hold a display at home, select pretty coloured fireworks but avoid ones that make a loud noise.

Finally, in the event of firework burns get your pet seen by a vet as soon as possible because prompt treatment is important.


Updated October 2013