Rabbits And Guinea Pigs And Fireworks
Keep your rabbits and guinea pigs stress free during the fireworks season with our top tips on firework safety for small animals
How do I know if my pet is worried about fireworks?
If you're unsure whether your rabbit or guinea pig is agitated by the sounds of fireworks, some signs you can look out for include:
- Stamping their back legs
- Restlessness or just staying motionless
- Attempting to escape or hide
- Grinding their teeth
- Reduced appetite (this can be very dangerous in rabbits and guinea pigs!)
- Change in toileting habits
If you have any questions at all, speak to a vet or nurse at your local surgery to see how you can best keep them happy and safe when fireworks are being let off in your neighbourhood.
How to help your pet stay safe and calm during firework season
Unfortunately there are no synthetic pheromones available for rabbits or guinea pigs to reduce stress-related behaviour like the ones for cats and dogs, but there are a number of other ways to help them ease their anxiety:
Bring your pet inside
If your rabbit or guinea pig's hutch is outdoors, it is a good idea to bring their hutch inside, if you can. Choose a quiet room or alternatively an unused garage or shed. If this is not possible you can partly cover hutches with blankets to provide some soundproofing and to block out the flashes of light. You can try to soundproof your house by closing windows and drawing curtains.
Create a calming environment
Playing relaxing music or watching TV can also help to muffle the loud bangs fireworks create. To help your rabbits or guinea pigs feel comfortable, provide an extra safe and easily accessible place available in their hutch or cage to hide inside. This could be a cardboard box with holes cut in and plenty of bedding to burrow in.
Introduce friendly support
Both rabbits and guinea pigs are social animals and should be kept with a companion they are familiar with. Introducing a new companion should always be done in a controlled and safe way.
Having a bonded pair can help ease the stress of fireworks, but isn’t for this reason alone. Have a chat with your vet, vet nurse or one of our Pets at Home colleagues in store about the best way and time to introduce a friend - but remember not to mix rabbits and guinea pigs.
Provide their favourite treats and toys
Whilst overfeeding your pet is never the answer, you can consider distracting your pet by giving them a new toy and offering their favourite food to keep them occupied.
If you have any worries about your rabbit and guinea pig during firework season, make sure you speak to your vet to see what you can do to keep your pets happy.