RSPCA advice to keep pets safe during firework season

Reporter:

Dale Spridgeon

RSPCA Cymru has issued advice to help people keep their pets safe during fireworks, as Bonfire Night draws closer.

Many animals find fireworks frightening and according to the charity, some 45 per cent of the UK's dogs show signs of fear and distress by the noise of fireworks.

In 2016, the animal welfare organisation received 27 calls relating to fireworks in Wales, during October and November, and is likely to receive more calls on Bonfire Night.

The RSPCA has published some simple guidelines to help minimise animal distress, and these include making sure dogs and cats have somewhere to hide, perhaps under furniture or in a cupboard, and in a place they can get to at any time.

Ensure pets are kept in a safe and secure environment and can’t escape. Make sure animals are microchipped in case of escape.

During the fireworks season, walk dogs during daylight and keep pets indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off. At nightfall, close windows and curtains and put on music to muffle the sound.

RSPCA animal behaviour expert Dr Samantha Gaines said:  “If your dog is frightened of fireworks your vet may suggest referral to a clinical animal behaviourist to teach him or her to deal with the sounds; or the use of diffusers which disperse calming chemicals into the room.

“It is also a good idea to provide your dog with a safe haven. Choose somewhere quiet and help them learn that being there is positive and that no harm will come to them. You can do this by giving them toys or chew toys.”

Small animals that live outside should have lots of extra bedding so they can burrow and some of their enclosure covered by a blanket.

Farm animals can also be frightened by loud noises and sudden flashes, causing them to injure themselves on fencing, farm equipment or, in the case of housed animals, on fixtures and fittings.

It is also likely that fireworks will cause a disturbance to wild animals. Wildlife can be burnt alive after making their home in bonfires, so always check for animals before lighting.

Organisers of events are also encouraged not let off fireworks near where animals are housed.

If you see an animal in distress, the RSPCA emergency line is: 0300 1234 999.

Email:

dale.spridgeon@nwn.co.uk

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