Thursday, 1 October 2015

Pet Safety During Guy Fawkes

More pets go missing during fireworks season than any other time of the year.  While it’s usually a night of celebration for humans, the kaleidoscope of colour and sound is often terrifying for furry and feathered creatures.  Animals’ hearing is far more acute than our own, so a simple bang will sound like an explosion to them.  This can lead to them running away or injuring themselves in an attempt to escape the noise.  Each year rescue organisations receive reports of pets jumping through glass windows, jumping fences, or being hit by cars as they try to escape.  Here is our guide to keeping your pets safe and comfortable during Guy Fawkes:

1.  If your pets are particularly nervous, print out our guide to desensitising your pet BEFORE the season kicks off.  If you have subscribed to our Fireworks Safety Kit you can access a copy through the link provided.

2.  As soon as fireworks go on sale, print out copies of our Fireworks Safety Poster and display these around your neighbourhood.  These will help to encourage your neighbours to use fireworks more considerately.

3.  Err on the side of caution and ensure all pets are indoors by 6pm – even confident pets.  If your cats are difficult to lure inside, consider locking them inside up to 24 hours in advance.  Don’t forget your outdoor pets either – bunnies and guinea pigs should also be brought inside for the evening.  If you own livestock, ensure they’re in a securely fenced paddock, or preferably locked in a barn.

4.  Make sure your pets are wearing a collar and a tag, in case they manage to escape.  Ideally, they should be microchipped AND registered with Inspector Spot as well.

5.  If your pets are particularly nervous, consider starting them on Rescue Remedy or plug in a pheromone-based device such as Feliway 24 hours in advance.  If your pet has previously had a bad experience during Guy Fawkes, consider asking your vet to prescribe a sedative.

6.  If you have dogs, take them for a good run earlier in the day.  This will help to tire them out and hopefully put them to sleep.

7.  Close all windows, curtains, cat flaps, interior and exterior doors.  Pop a cover over your bird’s cage.  This will help to block out as much sound and light as possible.

8.  Try to stay at home with your pets, or if this is not possible leave a TV or radio on to help muffle the sound of the fireworks.  Keep your pets occupied with lots of toys and treats. 

9.  Stay calm.  If you fuss over your pets, they’ll wonder why you’re worried, and begin to worry too.

10.  If your pet is frightened, their natural inclination will be to run and hide – potentially under a bed or in a small, enclosed area such as a cupboard.  If this happens, do not attempt to lure them out.  Just sit with them, pat them, and speak to them calmly until they feel confident enough to come out.  A frightened pet may lash out at you in fear, so it’s best to let them sit in the space they’ve chosen for themselves.

11.  DO NOT take your pets to a fireworks display under any circumstances.  Displays are a great event for humans, but NOT for pets.

12.  Remember that fireworks may land on your property.  Prevent your pets from eating something dangerous by checking for the remains of fireworks the following morning.  

13.  Finally, a pet that is scared during Guy Fawkes may show signs of anxiety for days, weeks or even several months afterwards.  If your pet does not return to normal within a few days, make an appointment with your vet to help them to calm down again.

1 in 3 Pets go missing.  Inspector Spot tracks them down.  If your pets are not registered with him, visit to get them signed up today. 

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