Sunday, 26 October 2008

Fireworks. How to keep your dog safe.

As we near Bonfire Night, let's think of our pets who hate it.

Every year thousands of animals will suffer as a result of fireworks being let off. Blue Cross animal hospitals across the UK see a marked rise in pets requiring medication during such stressful times, and many animals are brought into Blue Cross adoption centres having run away from home.
Animals have very acute hearing. Loud bangs and whistles may cause them actual pain in their ears.
This is the advice the Bleu Cross gives to dog owners ( and cat owners ):
- Always keep pets inside when fireworks are being let off.
- Make sure your dog is walked earlier in the day before the fireworks start.
- Close all windows and doors, and block off catflaps to stop pets escaping and to keep noise to a minimum.
-Draw the curtains, and if the animals are used to the sounds of TV or radio, switch them on (but not too loudly) in order to block out some of the noise of the fireworks.
- Ensure dogs are wearing some form of easily readable identification (ID) – even in the house. By law, they should have at least a collar and tag. Think about fitting pets with a microchip, so that if they do run away they have a better chance of being quickly reunited with you.
- Prepare a ‘den’ for your pet where it can feel safe and comfortable – perhaps under a bed with some of your old clothes. It may like to hide there when the fireworks start.
- Let your pet pace around, whine, and hide in a corner if it wants to. Do not try to coax it out – it’s just trying to find safety, and should not be disturbed.
- Try not to cuddle and comfort distressed pets as they will think you are worried too, and this may make the problem worse. Instead stay relaxed, act normally and praise calm behaviour.
- Avoid leaving your pet alone during such potentially upsetting events. If you do have to leave the house, don’t get angry with your pet if you find it has been destructive after being left on its own. Shouting at a frightened pet will only make it more stressed.
- Don’t tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off, ie outside a shop while you pop inside, or leave it in the garden or in your car.
- Never take your dog to a fireworks display. Even if it doesn’t bark or whimper at the noise, it doesn’t mean it is happy. Excessive panting and yawning can sometimes indicate that your dog is stressed.


James Higham said...

Dogs and fireworks - not a happy combination.

rosiero said...

What really annoys me is that fireworks used to be let off on Bonfire Night on 5 November here in the UK and that was it. You could make arrangements for your pet to be protected for one night of the year and there was no problem. Now the Guy Fawkes season usually goes on for about 2 weeks, starting the weekend before the 5 November and often up to a week after. Then there is divali, when people now let off a lot of fireworks. Not to mention New Year. Then there is Aunty Edna's birthday or Justin's 21st or Ethel and Syd's Golden Wedding. There never seems to be time of year or day when you can expect it. A few years ago I was sitting in the late afternoon on Christmas Day with the cat on my lap watching some rubbish on TV, when some idiot neighbour let off some fireworks. The cat shot six feet in the air and gouged a lump out of my leg as she did so. My comments were unprintable!!!

Flowerpot said...

thanks for posting that ED. I wish more people thought about their pets rather than the fireworks.

Eurodog said...

I agree with you. Although we do not have Bonfire Night in Belgium, fireworks are let off frequently.
Poor Belle hates them as much as I do.
Yes, James and FP.

Ellee Seymour said...

Very timely advice Eurodog. They have to survive Halloween first and all those scary masks.

Violets new Vintage said...

Great advice. In the US we have 4th of July fireworks. Our shelter always takes in more dogs during and after this celebration.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post. Information like this should be posted in very large bold letters in every supermarket and especially where fireworks are sold. It so often is not the case.

CJ xx

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jmb said...

Over my lifetime I've had four dogs, three of which were terrified of fireworks while Cleo the Westie and our last would run around barking furiously and trying to get out to see what was happening. Most unusual I think.

Rebecca Taunton said...

Great advice. This year we're looking after my parents' dog, so it's a greater responsibility to make sure he's well looked after when the fireworks are going off around the house.