Pets and Fireworks
Remember, Remember - Your Pets this November
New legislation puts pets first this firework season
As fireworks night approaches many UK pet owners begin to dread the effect all the noise has on their pets. Also, it seems as though every year the fireworks season begins earlier and earlier.
In the midst of all the fun and frolics, care must be taken to ensure our furry friends are safe and sound. Thankfully there is some good news for pet owners this year in the form of a brand new piece of legislation, backed by all the UK's main animal welfare organisations including the Blue Cross.
Under the new law public firework displays will have to be licensed and fireworks will be controlled by restricting their sale and use to certain times of the day and year.
However, many pets will continue to be scared by any firework. They have sensitive hearing and in the same way that they get scared of thunder, fireworks can make them physically sick. So what can we do to help them?
The Blue Cross have got together with the Firework Industry, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Food and Rural Affairs, and they've all come up with a leaflet packed with tips on how to make sure your pet doesn't suffer this Bonfire Night. For example:
ALWAYS keep dogs and cats inside when fireworks are being let off. Close all the windows and doors, and block off cat-flaps to keep noise to a minimum and to stop pets escaping. It's also a good idea to draw the curtains, and if the animals are used to the particular sounds of TV or radio, switch them on (but not too loudly) in order to block out some of the noise of the fireworks.
ALWAYS make sure your pet is wearing some form of easily readable identification (ID) - even in the house. By law, they should have at least a collar and tag, but think about fitting them with a microchip, so that if they do run away they have a better chance of being returned to you.
NEVER take your dog to a firework display. Even if your dog does not bark or whimper at fireworks it doesn't mean he's happy. Excessive panting and yawning can sometimes indicate that your dog is stressed.
NEVER tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off, i.e. outside a shop whilst you pop inside, or leave them in the garden or in your car.
NEVER walk your dog while fireworks are going off. Make sure your dog is walked earlier in the day before the fireworks start.
NEVER shout at your pet if it is frightened, as you will only make it more stressed.
You can help your pet by:
o Preparing a 'den' for your pet so it can feel comfortable, perhaps under a bed with some of your old clothes where it can hide when the fireworks start
o Leaving it alone if it paces around, whines or meows, and if it tries to hide in a corner don't try to coax it out, it is just trying to find safety and should not be disturbed.
o Trying not to leave your pet alone during such potentially upsetting events
o Staying calm and acting normally. Praise your pet when it is calm
o Not shouting or getting angry if you leave your pet alone and come back to find that it has been destructive
Hutches/cages and enclosures should, if possible, be brought into a quiet room indoors, or into a garage or shed
Give your pet extra bedding to burrow into so it can feel safe
If you cannot bring your pet's hutch inside, you should turn its enclosure around so that it faces a wall or fence instead of the open garden
Cover any aviaries or hutches with thick blankets or a duvet to block out the sight of the fireworks and deaden the sound of the bangs, but make sure there is enough ventilation
So remember, remember the 5th of November - but don't forget your pets. To find out more information about how to keep your pets safe this fireworks season please visit the Blue Cross website at www.bluecross.org.uk
Please telephone the Media Team on 020 7253 8888 or email to discuss
these details. If there is any additional information required please
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