Tips For Owners During The Fireworks Season

Posted by Jon in News on Saturday 07/10/2017 18:14 UTC.

You may notice that shops are preparing for the festive season. From the 15th of October, fireworks start to become available to the public. However, depsite how pretty and exciting fireworks are to us, we have to remember that they cause great stress to our four legged friends. Fireworks are very loud and bright. Many animals hear noises at a different frequency to us, meaning that the sound is even louder or higher pitched then it sounds to us.

Below are some ideas on how to help your pet throughout the firework season. Remember, if your pet shows frequent or severe signs of stress, please consult a veternairian. Please, stay safe when using fireworks and dispose of your litter afterwards. 

Know Your Rights!

  • Fireworks should not be set off near fields that contain animals.
  • It is ilegal for anyone under 18 years to possess fireworks
  • Fireworks cannot be set off by a private individual between the hours of 11:00pm to 7:00am  - expect for certain nights
  • It is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to animal animal. Please do report if seen to: SSPCA,Crimestoppers, BHS or RSPCA

Dogs

  • Prepare your dog a few weeks before by placing youtube videos of fireworks and increase the loudness everytime whilst providing support. Only praise when relaxation is shown, otherwise you are rewarding the fear. 
  • Provide a place to hide. Some dogs like to hide under the table, chairs or even beds.
  • Go for walkies earlier, when it is light and unlikely for fireworks to be set off
  • Be a role model and act like there is nothing to be frightened off, dogs are good at picking up fear / odd behaviour in people
  • Feed your dog before the fireworks happen so he / she can have dinner in peace. Make sure their water bowl is full as stress dogs are more likely to drink.
  • Make sure you shut all doors, windows and curtains to prevent the noise and light from entering the house
  • Don't force your dog to play or come out for cuddles, sometimes just leaving them alone and talking to them is best
  • Drown out the sound of the rockets by putting on the TV or playing the radio
  • Don't tell your dog off for barking, whimpering or hiding. They are scared and this will increase more stress
  • Just incase of escape, make sure your dog has a collar on for ID.
  • Consult your vet and see if your dog may benefit from a pheromone diffuser. This releases scents that relax dogs. 

Cats

  • Make sure your cat has a places to hide away. Some like to hide under tables, chairs, beds, boxes...
  • Call your cat in before dawn, most fireworks will go off when the dark starts to call in
  • Keep your cat indoors, make sure all catflaps, door and windows are shut.
  • Getting your cat microchipped is a brilliant idea in case he/ she gets out. Many stray cats are found and unfortunalty, depending on the shelter, your cat may be destroyed if not claimed.
  • Provide them with a litter tray as your restricting their time outside
  • If you house more than one cat, make sure you have plenty of hide spots / rooms as cats are not social and sharing spaces causes stress.
  • If your cat is hiding, it is best to leave them alone and not tempt them out as this can cause more stress
  • Try to muffle out the sounds of the rockets by playing the radio or putting on the TV
  • Some cats may benefit from a distractionn such as playing or fuss. Do not force them to do this as this could add on more stress.
  • Talk to your vet to see if your cat could benefit from a pheromone diffuser. This releases relaxing scents. 

Rabbits & Guinea pigs

  • Bring your rabbits / pigs indoors either with, or without their hutch. You could even move them into a garage or shed.
  • If you can't bring your animals indoors, keep them in the hutch by locking them in. Turn the hutch so it faces the wall or cover the hutch with a black-out fabric. Make sure that air can still flow inwards though.
  • Provide extra beeding to burrow in, or extra things to hide in such as boxes, tunnels or even furniture
  • Make sure hay and water is provided.

Horses, ponies & donkeys

  • Do not risk your horses and your own health by riding at dawn, when fireworks are likely to be set off
  • Be careful as horses can be dangerous when spooked, try and have someone with you whilst leading or seeng to your horse - just for safety
  • If you notice there is a fireworks display close to your yard, you may contact the organiser to discuss your concerns. Knowing the timings of the show helps , as you can move your horses to a field furthest away from the display.
  • It is possible to desensitise your horse by playing youtube videos to get used to the sounds
  • Make sure your yard is secure to prevent any unwanted escapes. Check that the fencing in fields is secure and that all gates are shut. 
  • If your horse is stalled, shutting the barn door and playing music may help to muffle out the sound of the rockets. Leaving the lights on may help to lessen the effects of the lights from the rockets.
  • Try your best to keep in the same routine, animals are brilliant at sensing different patterns and this may put them on edge. If your horse is normally stabled, keep them inside, if he/ she is normally turned out, keep them out.
  • Make sure you have third party liabilty insurance in case your horse escapes, damages anything or or causes an accident. Otherwise you could be liable for compensation.
  • If your horse is severly distressed by the fireworks, talk to your vet for a possible sedation route. Or even move your horse compeltly away.

 

Goats & Sheep

  • Fireworks do stress sheep and goats
  • Check to see what events are happening near you and at what times. You may be able to move your animals into a field futher away.
  • Goats and sheep don't always do well in confined spaces, give them the option to move in or out of their shelter - which you must provide
  • Make sure they have plenty of hay and water, food helps to distract whilst a stressed animal is more likely to drink.
  • If you can play the radio for them to help muffle out the sounds

Chickens, Geese, Turkeys etc

  • Most birds cope well with the loud noises of fireworks, however some cockerels may stress
  • It usually does not effect egg laying
  • Make sure that all birds are put in their coops at night
  • Provide things to keep them occupied such as food

Wildlife

  • Avoid letting off any fireworks near nature reserves, roosting areas or wildlife sensitive areas
  • Always check bonfires for hedgehogs as they may be nesting in the logs
  • If letting of fireworks in the garden, remove bird feeders the night before to discourage wildlife for a short period
  • Wait right after dusk before letting off fireworks. Dusk is a the main feeding / hunting time for most species
  • Clear up any left over litter from the rockets to prevet injury to wildlife
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