Friday 3 November 2017

Remember, remember your pets this November!

It's that time of year again when we all enjoy a good fireworks display, but not everyone finds it as enjoyable as us humans. Remember to look out for your furry friends at this time of year!

Did you know that approximately 60% of pets become scared or stressed upon hearing fireworks? There are a number of ways in which animals can show that they are anxious, and that includes, but is not limited to: trembling, cowering, refusing to eat, pacing, soiling, and destructive behaviour. Here, we have compiled a number of handy tips and tricks to help you take care of your pets this weekend. 

Birds, ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and rabbits

When taking your smallest pets into account, the first thing to consider doing is, if possible, to bring hutches and enclosures inside to a quiet room, whether that's actually inside the house, or in a garage or shed. If that isn't possible, at least make sure to change the direction the enclosure is facing, so it doesn't look out onto an open garden. For your furry little friends, make sure to provide lots of extra bedding that is perfect for burrowing into. And for your feathered friends, make sure to cover aviaries with a thick blanket to block out the sight and sound of fireworks, whilst still allowing enough ventilation – this is a good idea for all enclosed pets!

Cats and dogs

The main point to remember with our cats and canines is to always keep them inside when fireworks are being let off! Make sure your dog has been walked during daylight hours, and that once inside
for the night, all windows, doors, and cat flaps are secure, to prevent your pet venturing out. As an extra precaution ensure that your pet is wearing some form of easy-to-read ID; we don't all have microchip scanners!
If they're used to the noise of a TV, keep that on, to help normalise the situation. Normality is key: the calmer you are, the calmer they will be. This also includes not making a fuss of them on the off chance that they will be frightened; let them pace, meow, whine and hide. Create a den for them where they can shoot off to if they need it; if they hide, do not try to coax them out; they feel that that is where they are safest, with all that noise going on outside! 
Lastly, even if you think your pet is a zen master when it comes to fireworks, think again: you should ideally never leave them home alone, and you should most certainly not take your dog to a fireworks display!

Horses and ponies

As a general rule, fireworks must not be set off anywhere near livestock or horses. If you do keep your horse in a field, it would be worth contacting the local council for information on any firework displays that may be taking place nearby. If this is the case, make sure the organisers are aware, and
ask them to set off the fireworks in the opposite direction, so as not to startle your horse.
As with all animals, keeping to a routine as much as possible will aide them in staying calm. If you can, ensure that you or an experienced person is on-hand to observe the horse's behaviour, responding as necessary, and to safeguard them against harm. If you have to leave your horse in the care of someone else, give them clear instructions and contact details for yourself and your vet. If you know that your horse reacts badly to loud noises, consider moving them for the night of the event. 
And last, but by no means least, be careful yourself! Try not to get in the way if your horse becomes startled, as this may result in you getting injured. 

Here's to a fantastic and safe Bonfire Night! Suppose this means that Christmas is just around the corner ...

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