How to keep exotic pets calm on Bonfire Night and New Year's Eve

Although there won't be any large firework displays due to Covid-19 this year, families may still have displays at home. Find out how to keep your pets safe and sound.

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Article vet checked by Bought By Many's vet expert Dr. Sophie Bell.

On nights of celebration such as Bonfire night and New Year's Eve we love to celebrate with fireworks. This year of course things are different due to Covid-19.

There won't be any large displays this year, however there may be smaller displays, at home for example.

For pet owners, forward planning is key. Speak to your neighbours and plan to protect your pet whether you know of local celebrations or not.  

Bought By Many's vet expert, Dr Sophie Bell advises: "Protecting our pets during bonfire night is extremely important. Stress can lead to health problems, which is why having a plan in place will really help.

If your pet is kept outside, be sure to pay them regular visits during and after the fireworks to make sure they are not showing any extreme signs of stress such as feather pulling, or refusal to eat."

Dr Sophie Bell's advice can also be applied for New Year's Eve of course. 

Parrots and fireworks

To protect your parrot he or she should be kept indoors with the windows and doors closed.

You should also close the curtains, as this will not only deaden the sound but shield your parrot from any flashes of light. This is good advice for any pet, not just parrots.

Try reassuring your parrot by talking to them.  Covering the cage isn't necessary, unless its part of your birds normal routine.

Keep yourself calm, remember, parrots can easily pick up on your anxiety, and this in turn will affect them.

You should also play your parrots favourite music or television programme, to help drown out the fireworks.

Parrots love music, and the familiarity of the sound will help soothe them.

Bought By Many's vet nurse, Sarah Dawson suggests buying your parrot a new toy. This can provide an exciting new distraction. Taking attention away from the noises outside.

If your bird is known for becoming very distressed, it may be an idea to consult your veterinary surgeon.

Dr Sophie Bell advises: "There are calming sprays that can be used such as pet remedy that are suitable for birds, rabbits, and rodents. It may be worth investing in something that can help with potential anxiety."

Your own vet will be able to provide further advice on what you can do.

Aviary birds and fireworks 

For aviary birds you try to encourage your birds to move into the "housing" part of the aviary. You should also monitor the aviary to ensure no rockets land on it, and to ensure that it doesn’t sustain any damage.

You can also muffle the sound of the fireworks, by partly covering the aviary with a thick blanket or duvet. However, you should ensure there is adequate ventilation.

Tortoises and Fireworks

If its bonfire night, and you're planning on having a bonfire, remember to check that your tortoise isn’t hiding in it first. Tortoises love to burrow, and as well as hiding in piles of logs, they will also burrow into compost heaps and even the ground itself.

If you plan to let off fireworks, or have a bonfire, ensure your tortoise is safe and sound first.

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Ferrets, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs and Fireworks

Outdoor hutches, cages or enclosures should be brought in where possible, or taken into a garage or shed.

If this is not possible, then turn the enclosure around so that it faces a wall or fence, and partly cover with a thick blanket or duvet. This will help to deaden the sound. Remember to ensure that good ventilation is maintained.

It's also advised that you should supply your small pet with lots of bedding for him or her to burrow into.

Fireworks and the law

The Gov.UK website states that:

  • You must be over the age of 18 to buy adult fireworks. Adult fireworks don’t include things like party poppers
  • You must not set off or throw fireworks in the street or other public places. This includes sparklers.

Fireworks should not be set off between 11pm and 7am, except on certain occasions. Exceptions are:

  • Bonfire night when the cut off point for setting off fireworks is midnight.
  • New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year have a cut-off point of 1am

We hope that this article helps you and your pet to have happier and more relaxing celebrations. 

Is your exotic pet insured? Get a quote now | We can insure parrots, reptiles including tortoises, small mammals, exotic mammals and Birds of Prey | We've been insuring exotic pets since 1996 | Check out our customer reviews on Feefo.