To most people, 5th November signifies a fun evening full of loud, dazzling fireworks, but for any pets left outdoors it can mean an evening of extreme fear.
To combat this, Bayer Animal Health – the ‘Protecting Against Parasites’ experts and makers of the market leading Drontal worming tablets for dogs and cats - is issuing its top tips for a safe Guy Fawkes Night. Sabrina Stroud – product manager at Bayer - advises the following to protect your pets from the possible shock of noisy fireworks:
1. Ideally, you should move your pets to a calmer and quieter environment – bring cats and dogs safely indoors where possible and, if not, use a shed, conservatory or even a garage as shelter, as long as it is fume free and well ventilated.
2. You may like to give your pets their favourite treat on Bonfire Night as it may help to keep their mind off things! But don’t be too alarmed if they go off their food during this time.
3. Keep all outside windows and doors firmly closed to prevent escapes, just in case pets are startled by a loud noise and try to run away.
4. However, if they do manage to run away, make sure dogs and cats are identifiable. An excellent method of ensuring that your pet will be safely returned, is to insert a Tracer micro chip into your pet – ask your vet for details.
5. Speak to a Veterinary Nurse at your practice (or an animal behaviourist), well in advance of the day about possible ‘calming methods’ for your pets, such as the use of pheromone sprays and tranquilliser drugs, if your animals are particularly nervous.
6. Always check your animals at the end of the evening to ensure that they are well and not too frightened. A comforting stroke may help.
Sabrina adds: “Pet owners need to start thinking about how fireworks may adversely affect their cats and dogs now, as a visit or phonecall to your vet on 5th November may well be too late.
Vets are always inundated with requests for help at this time and, increasingly, we are seeing fireworks being used in the weeks leading up to Guy Fawkes Night.”