Fireworks, trick-or-treaters and pranksters can be frightening for your pets, so during Halloween and Bonfire Night it's especially important to make sure dogs and cats are feeling calm and happy.

If your pup is scared of fireworks, or your cat hates being dressed up in Halloween gear, it's important to know the ways you can make them feel more comfortable.

Here are our top tips for creating a safe environment for your pets during the holidays this autumn.

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Bonfire Night 2016

Halloween tips

  1. Walk your dog before dark, making sure they're well exercised and have plenty of time for toilet breaks before the noisiness begins.
  2. Create a safe environment for your pets. If it is likely you are going to have 'trick-or-treaters' knocking on your door so make sure your pet is kept in a quiet space out of the way. Give your pet their favourite toy, bed, food and water bowl - and, to comfort them, something with your smell on it.
  3. Be cautious with costumes. Even though it may be fun to dress up pets, never force your pet to wear anything. If your pet is happy to dress up, make sure garments are appropriate to the animal, their movements aren't restricted and that materials are flame resistant.

Bonfire Night tips

  1. Feed your pets before the fireworks begin as they may become unsettled and not want to eat during the fireworks.
  2. Make sure your house and garden are secure as fear may make your pet act out of character and they may try to escape.
  3. Close the curtains and turn up the volume on your TV or radio to drown out the firework noises.
  4. Don't punish your dog or cat if they cower or react to the fireworks as it will intensify their fear.
  5. Remain calm and relaxed and this will help your pet realise there's nothing to worry about.
  6. Keep your pet busy by playing games, but don't force them - if they'd rather hide away, let them stay where they feel safe.
  7. Do not allow glow sticks near your pets - even though they aren't necessarily toxic, if chewed on they can cause your pet to salivate excessively and act abnormally.

For more information about the upcoming holidays, visit our dedicated Halloween and Bonfire Night pages.