Throughout the year, there are a number of public holidays and religious celebrations that are typically marked with large firework displays. These traditions have been around for many years and show no signs of stopping.
Fireworks can be a stressful and frightening experience for many animals, including guinea pigs. These small and sensitive creatures are easily startled by loud noises and sudden movements and can become anxious or panicked when confronted with the sounds and sights of fireworks. However, there are several steps you can take to help keep your guinea pig calm and comfortable during fireworks displays.
Bring them indoors
Many guinea pig owners keep their pets in an outdoor cage throughout the year. A hutch or cage will provide little protection from the audible experience of a firework display. If possible, while the display is taking place, you should bring your guinea pigs inside even if just for temporary respite from the loud noises and bright lights.
If you don't have an indoor cage solution, you could build a temporary accommodation using large boxes, or mark out the perimeter of a pen with suitable materials to keep them contained. Protect your flooring using fleece liners or absorbent materials such as towels or bath mats. Remember this is a temporary solution to make your pet comfortable.
If it is not possible to bring your guinea pigs indoors, then it might help to turn the cage or hutch away from the source of the lights and sounds. You could also cover the cage with a blanket which may also help muffle some of the noise.
Provide suitable cover
It's important to provide your guinea pig with a safe and secure hiding place where they can retreat if they feel overwhelmed. Guinea pigs are prey animals, which means that they are naturally inclined to be cautious and hide from potential threats. They may hide under things as a way to feel more secure and protected. This could be a cosy corner of their cage, a covered box, or a small tunnel. You can also line the hiding place with soft bedding and a few familiar toys or treats to make it more inviting.
Reduce the loud noises
Next, you'll want to do your best to block out as much of the noise and light from the fireworks as possible. This can be challenging, especially if you live in a densely populated area, but there are a few things you can try. Closing the windows and curtains, and turning on a fan or white noise machine can help to muffle the sounds of the fireworks. Music or television noise would also be useful but avoid anything too loud if your guinea pigs are not used to it as it will also unsettle them.
Help them feel relaxed
Another important step is to make sure your guinea pig is well-fed and hydrated before the fireworks begin. A full stomach can help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
It's also a good idea to spend some extra time with your guinea pig before and during the fireworks, providing them with extra attention and comfort. You can cuddle with them, talk to them softly, and offer them treats and toys to distract them from the noise outside.
With the right preparation, you and your guinea pigs can get through the holiday season and enjoy the display as intended. Just remember to spare a thought for your furry friends who may not be able to express their discomfort and need a little extra care.