Remember Remember… Your Pet on 5th November!!

We’re already at ‘that’ time again when we all seem to feel the need to celebrate the unsuccessful attempt of a terrorist group’s second-in-command to blow up our beautiful Palace of Westminster.

It always strikes me as a strange event to celebrate but pyro-pioneer Mr Brock who created it seemed to do rather well out of Mr Guy Fawkes!

To most of us 5th November celebrations signify an explosive fun-filled evening with loud rockets and hypnotic Catherine wheels but for our cats, dogs, rabbits and others left outdoors or indoors, it usually means an intensely stressful time with added bouts of extreme fear too.

Our annual extended fireworks season is an absolute nightmare for our pets; as not only do they get scared but many suffer needless and sometimes fatal injuries.

So please consider the following precautions:

Ideally, you should move your pets to a calmer and quieter environment. Bring cats and dogs safely indoors where possible and if not then use a shed, conservatory or even garage as their shelter – making sure it’s fume-free and well-ventilated.

Play some gentle music and give your pets their favourite treats as it will help to keep their minds off things. But don’t be surprised if they don’t touch them at all.

Keep outside windows and doors firmly shut to prevent escapes just in case pets are startled by loud bangs and try to run away.

However if they do manage to escape, please make sure dogs and cats are identifiable – there really is no better time to get your pet microchipped than right now.

If your pet is particularly nervous then please contact your vet about the many possible ‘calming methods’ available, including clever pheromone sprays and tranquilizer drugs (mild sedatives) which can help.

The latter are available in tablet form only from your vet who will be able to tell you if your pet is a suitable candidate or not. These drugs will take the edge off their anxiety by temporarily, and most importantly safely, sedating them.

You should also think about buying hand-held cascading fireworks rather than the noisy varieties, and always make sure you keep all fireworks and bonfires as far away from your homes as possible, thus minimizing any adverse effects on confused and terrified animals indoors.

Of course this does not mean that other wild animals will not be affected so please always check bonfires before lighting them to ensure that no small animals (e.g. hedgehogs) are curled-up asleep inside.

Please think about the dangers of fireworks to your pets and wildlife as a visit to your vet on the night will be far too late.

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