Bonfire Night might be a time-honoured tradition, but not every family member will love it. We explore how to ease your rabbit’s anxieties during the festive fireworks.
Bonfire Night can be a joyous time for many of us who look forward to the magical display of fireworks on a crisp November evening. But it’s not always so joyous for our pets, who have no idea what all those loud bangs and bright lights are.
Fireworks can trigger anxiety and stress responses in pets – especially in rabbits, who may normally live in a hutch outside. Your rabbits’ fear may result in your pets trying to run away and hide, changing their toileting habits, behaving aggressively or refusing to eat.
While you might not be able to completely mitigate your rabbits’ fears during fireworks, try these steps to help calm them as much as possible:
- If you have an outdoor hutch, bring it inside, if possible, or place it in the garage.
- If it’s not possible to bring the hutch inside, partly cover it with blankets. This will limit your rabbits’ exposure to bright flashes and thundering booms.
- Provide your rabbits with extra bedding. This will allow them to burrow and increase their feelings of comfort and security.
- Put them in their hutch earlier. If they are able to settle down at an earlier time than usual, they will feel safer once the festivities begin.
- If your hutch is indoors, stay home with your rabbits – your presence will help to reassure them.
- When staying indoors with your rabbits, close the windows, draw the curtains and switch on some relaxing background music ahead of any fireworks starting.
How are you planning to keep your rabbits calm on Bonfire Night this year? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram, using the tag #PethoodStories.