Friday, November 03, 2017

Remember, Remember...

Keeping Animals and Pets Safe During Firework Season 2017

Firework season is upon us once again. I mean, I say that but where I live, fireworks have been going off every.single.night for weeks. Now, I like fireworks as much as the next person and attending a controlled firework display is one of the best things about November, am I right? But for animals, it's definitely a tough time. Here are some tips to get our furry friends through the next few months...

* Provide them with a safe and comfortable hiding place in case they are frightened, such as a cardboard box, an igloo bed or even the space under your bed or behind the sofa.

* When the fireworks are going off, keep them inside and close all doors, windows and block catflaps. Ensure to have some background noise on such as TV, radio or some pet therapy music to try and block out the noise.

* Ensure that they have access to a litter tray and fresh water, they may not feel like eating.

* Keep your cat company when fireworks are being set off but act normal, don't overwhelm them with cuddles or they may become more nervous.

* Allow your cat to wander around and pace the house. If they are afraid and looking for a hiding place, leave them be.

* Try and feed them before the fireworks occur, otherwise they probably won't eat when nervous.

* If your cat is extra timid, try and get them accustom to the sound of firework sounds beforehand by playing them audio clips of fireworks.

*Provide them with treats and toys as a helpful distraction. 

* If anxiety is a major issue with your cats, speak to your vet about purchasing something like Feliway Friends which is scentless plug-in diffuser which helps to reduce stress and anxiety.

* Allow them to be in familiar territories, such as their favourite chair or bed.

* Reward their calm behaviour. If they're scared and hiding, don't try and entice them out as this could make them more scared. Never punish them for being scared.
* Walk them during daylight hours to avoid walking them when the fireworks may occur.

* Never leave them tied up outside while fireworks are being set off and avoid leaving them all by themselves.

* Keep them inside when fireworks are being released and keep doors and windows shut.

* Ensure that they are microchipped and are wearing a collar and an identification tag.

* Feed them before the fireworks are set off because they might not feel like eating when they're on edge.

* Create a quiet area for your pup, with blankets and their favourite toys. Play pet therapy music, or just the radio or TV to block out the noise.

* Also create some hiding spaces or invest in a crate to allow them to get into a space where they'll feel most safe.

* Dogs are more likely to drink more when nervous so ensure a fresh bowl of water is accessible to them at all times.

* Provide them with toys and treats as a helpful distraction.

* Try and get them used to the sound of fireworks with the help of audio clips beforehand. If done as a puppy, your dog will more likely not be bothered by fireworks when growing up but always remember, it's never a good idea to take your pup to a firework display, they won't be happy.

* Keep them company but try and stay calm and act as normal as possible as being on edge yourself will make them worry more.

* If anxiety is a major problem with your pup, speak to your vet about getting something such as Adaptil which helps with stress and anxiety.

*Reward their calm behaviour and never punish them for being scared.

* If possible, all hutches and cages should be brought in to a quiet room indoors or to a garage or shed.

* Supply them with extra bedding so that they can burrow and feel a little safer.

* If you cannot bring the cage or hutch inside, partially cover the cage/pen/hutch with blankets so their home is soundproofed but it enables them to still be able to look out and ensure ventilation.

* Supply them with treats to keep them occupied.

* Always ensure they have fresh water.

* Do not set off fireworks near trees or woodland, nesting areas, brush piles or any other sheltered areas where wildlife may be living. Ensure to avoid sensitive wildlife areas, such as nature reserves and nesting and roosting sites.

* When possible, re-site the entire bonfire before lighting. Use broom handles to lift up the bonfire to check for any wildlife sleeping inside before lighting. Check carefully and use torches, this a common way many animals lose their lives.

* If you're having a large bonfire, place a mesh fence around the bonfire to avoid small wild animals getting trapped inside.

* Remove bird feeders and bird baths in advance so the wildlife has time to move on.

* Find the contact details of your local wildlife centre, in the event of a casualty.

* Clean up any bonfire or firework debris afterwards.

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