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Bonfire Night: How to keep your pets stress-free

Cats and dogs in particular can be stressed by fireworks Credit: ITV Border

Over the next few nights, we'll all be enjoying Bonfire parties and firework displays. But the 5th of November isn't a treat for family pets.

So here are a few tips to make your our cats and dogs don't get stressed by noisy firework:

  • In the run up to and during firework season, walk dogs during daylight hours and then keep cats and dogs indoors when the fireworks are likely to be set off.
  • Help to muffle the sound of fireworks by keeping windows and curtains closed and put on the television to drown out the sound from outside. Also, try to ignore the firework noises yourself.
  • Make sure that any doors, windows and cat flaps are securely fastened so that pets cannot escape if there is a sudden bang or whoosh.
  • Treat your pet to a new toy for firework night, but don’t force them to play.
  • Source: VetPlus

A recent study into the prevalence of noise phobias in dogs found that, among 383 dog owners, a staggering 49% admitted their dogs were left cowering on Bonfire Night because of the loud bangs.

Of this, only a quarter (29%) of owners sought help or advice for their pets.

Source: Blackwell 2005 with RSPCA

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Cheetah enclosure in Lake District to be closed

Cheetahs. Credit: Thomas Eisenhuth/DPA/Press Association Images

A cheetah enclosure in Cumbria is to be closed, after the couple who opened it had an appeal to save it turned down.

Daniel and Dee Ashman run Predator Experience, a company in Ayside that offers wildlife experiences.

But there were objections that it was harmful to the character of the Lake District, and they were upheld by the Planning Inspectorate.

They posted the news to their Facebook followers:

I'm sorry to have to inform you all, that our appeal for the cheetah enclosure was not successful. We are of course very disappointed. All our other experiences are available as normal. Daniel and I will make a decision in relation to the next appropriate step.

The inspector upheld the Lake District National Park's opinion that the enclosure was harmful to the character of the landscape. Thank you for your support, it is very much appreciated."

– Predator Experience, on Facebook

Responses to the news on Facebook have been mixed, with some local people offering sympathy, while others have welcomed the closure:

So very sorry to hear this Dee and Daniel. I know how devastated you will be. Keep fighting."

– Comment on Facebook

Good to hear you lost your appeal, you live in Ayside, it's a small village with farm animals, walkers and Dog walkers. If any of these animals got out they would seriously hurt someone or an animal."

– Comment on Facebook
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