Exotic Pets & Fireworks

The firework season is upon us, and although it's often fun for us, it’s not so fun for our pets. Our pets can get very scared of the loud bangs and flashes that come with fireworks.

Forward planning is key. Ensure that you know what displays are taking place locally, and speak to your neighbours about their plans. You can then ensure you are best prepared to look after your pet. The following tips will help you and your pet get through the season.

Parrots and Fireworks

Hall Place Veterinary Centre advise that if your pet is kept indoors, keep the doors and windows closed, and close the curtains. This will help to deaden the sound. This is good advice for all indoor pets, not just parrots.

John Hayward* recommends you reassure your bird and talk to them, ensuring you treat them as normal. Covering their cage isn’t necessary, unless it’s part of your bird’s normal routine. Remember, parrots can easily pick up on your anxiety, and this in turn will affect them.

He also advises that you should play your parrot’s 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.

Our parrot insurance policies can cover vet fees, death and theft.

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Alternatively you can call us on 0345 982 5505

For aviary birds, John advises that 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.

To muffle the sound of the fireworks, Blue Cross for Pets advise you can partly cover 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 tortoise insurance policies can cover vet fees, death and theft. Vet fee only policies are available, or policies that can include vet fees, death and theft.

Get a quote

Alternatively you can call us on 0345 982 5505

Ferrets, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs and Fireworks

Blue Cross for Pets recommends that 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. Hall Place Veterinary Centre also advise 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.

* John Hayward runs the National Theft Register for Lost and Found Stolen Animals and is an expert in parrot and tortoise care.