How to keep exotic pets calm on bonfire night

How can you keep your exotic pet calm on bonfire night? Keeping curtains and windows closed, playing the television and bringing in any outdoor hutches can help.... 

To protect your pets on bonfire night, forward planning is key. Ensure you know what local displays are taking place, and speak to your neighbours about their plans.

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.

If your bird is known for becoming very distressed, it may be an idea to consult your veterinary surgeon. They may be able to provide further advice on what you can do.

Aviary birds and bonfire night

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 you’re going to have 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.

Our exotic pet insurance can cover vet fees, death and theft depending on your pet type.

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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 a happier and more relaxing firework season! 

For more information on stress reducing techniques for your pet, you should consider consulting your veterinary surgeon.

With thanks to John Hayward for his help with writing this article. John runs the National Theft Register for Lost and Found Stolen Animals and is an expert in parrot and tortoise care.