With fireworks season fast approaching, amongst all the fuss, frolics and fireworks, care must be taken to ensure our furry friends are safe and sound. Animal hospitals across the country see a marked rise in pets requiring medication to calm them during this stressful period and many animals actually run away from home.

Animals also have very acute hearing and loud bangs and whistles cause them pain in their ears. By following these simple guidelines you can alleviate the fireworks stress for your pet and help keep your pets safe during fireworks night:

ALWAYS keep dogs and cats inside when fireworks are being let off.

ALWAYS keep windows and doors closed, and block off catflaps to keep pets from escaping and keep noise to a minimum. Drawing curtains and putting the TV on to drown out noise can also help your pet feel safe.

NEVER take your dog to a fireworks display or walk your dog while fireworks are going off. Even if your dog does not bark or whimper at the fireworks it doesn’t mean he’s happy.

ALWAYS make sure your pet is wearing ID and is microchipped, so if they run away they can be easily returned to you.

NEVER shout at your pet if he is frightened as it will only make him more stressed. Ignore him if he paces or whines, if you reassure him he starts to think there is something wrong. Praise your pet when he is calm.

Small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and birds need special care as they are easily frightened and can die of a heart attack as a result of a loud noise. There are a number of things that pet owners can do to help small animals including the following:

Bring hutches and enclosures into a cool, quiet room indoors or in a garage or shed. If you are unable to bring an enclosure inside turn it to face a wall or fence instead of an open garden.

Cover aviaries or hutches with thick blankets or a duvet to block some of the noise and bright lights of the fireworks, but make sure there is enough ventilation.

Horses and ponies can also suffer during the fireworks season, so it is important that if you are in a rural area you warn neighbouring farmers so their animal are not caught unaware.

Free consultation for Firework Phobia

Ring Riverbank Veterinary Centre on 01772 726745 and receive a free consultation and advice about your pets firework phobia.