Fireworks season can be tough on animals.
Although most hamsters remain active and unbothered, hamsters with more sensitive or nervous temperaments can find the loud noises upsetting. It’s therefore worth taking some sensible precautions to minimise stress to your hamsters when fireworks are expected, particularly if you know there’s a display planned nearby.
Tips for Hamsters in Firework Season
Give your hamster a good depth of substrate and plenty of safe cosy nesting material. This allows them to burrow out of sight if they wish.
Hamsters also appreciate a dark enclosed nest box so they have a secure place to hide away. Cardboard boxes make great hamster houses!
Windows and Doors
Make sure windows and outside doors are shut in the hamster’s room . This keeps noise to a minimum (and keeps them warm too!)
You can help mask the noise from fireworks by playing calming music such as classical music. My dog loves music from the film Frozen!
If you have to travel with your hamster, try to travel during the day. Ensure your hamster’s carrier has plenty of substrate and a cosy nest.
Never take your hamster to a fireworks display or bonfire event.
What about Calming Products?
There is at least one calming product available that is marketed as safe for small mammals. One example is Pet Remedy, a herbal preparation that comes in various forms such as a spray, wipes and room diffusers.
I have used the Pet Remedy diffusers around hamsters (because the Vectis dog needs them at times) and have seen no adverse effects from it. It does have a scent which goes away after the first few hours. I wouldn’t use the wipes or sprays as they smell quite strongly.
I wish you all a safe Bonfire Night. My thoughts go to those with animals who find fireworks a stressful time.
A note on using calming products for hamsters at times that aren’t firework season:
In my experience, persistent exhibition of stress behaviours which requires medication is not usual in hamsters. For example, in stress behaviours linked with housing or lack of enrichment the cause should be altered, not the symptoms medicated. In hamsters with neurological problems like obsessive twirling or flipping, other treatment approaches would be more appropriate. I would recommend vet advice if you think your hamster may need medication for stress/behaviour, firstly to establish that there is no medical cause and secondly for input on which products to use and how.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2016. It has been updated for clarity in November 2019.