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Keeping Animals Safe During Firework Night And Halloween

From Rory The Vet

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Dr Rory Cowlam better known as ‘Rory the Vet’, is an Amazon best-selling Author following his debut book The Secret Life of a Vet and is the lead talent of CBBC show ‘The Pet Factor’. Here are his expert tips on keeping our animals safe during the coming month.

  • It’s common for cats to get scared and bolt, so it’s always best to keep them in on firework night. Make sure they have a nice and comfortable area to sleep inside. Give them an early dinner to keep them inside and shut curtains to hide flashing lights from outside.
  • To comfort dogs, create a safe and cosy den. Get a big heavy blanket and throw it over the top of a table so that it covers two sides and a blanket to cover half of the front, place the bed under the table and give them a long-lasting chew or bone to keep them occupied. Chewing behaviours release happy endorphins, which can keep them relaxed and chilled.
  • Take dogs for an early walk and avoid anywhere with public firework displays and when taking them out for a wee, make sure to did it in a sheltered environment where there won’t be fireworks.
  • You can de-sensitize pets in the lead-up to an event such as Firework Night or New Years by playing firework sounds on repeat and giving them positive reinforcement.
  • During a fireworks display, shut the curtains and play TV or music loudly to drown out the sound of outdoors. The best genres of music to play are reggae or classical music, which has a calming effect. Reggae music mimics a resting, chilled heartrate due to the BPM, which means dogs often try to mimic that and remain calmer.
  • Don’t over-reinforce it by looking for your pets. Wait for them to come to you before providing comfort. This is important because telling them ‘it’s okay, it’s okay’ may suggest to them that there’s something to worry about.
  • Small furry animals such as guinea-pigs and rabbits (and pets kept outdoors) must be brought inside overnight. They also get scared by loud bangs and flashing lights and it is known for small furries to die from shock in these instances.
  • Halloween brings around a lot of chocolate. Dogs and cats must never eat any chocolate. The darker it is, the more toxic it is and can be life threatening in certain circumstances.
  • Pumpkins are an extremely nutritious food source and are great for dogs guts due to their high level of fibre. Vets often suggest adding cooked, boiled pumpkin to dogs’ food or can even be made into a dog treat.
  • Always make sure to check the bonfire for wildlife before lighting them. Bonfires can be extremely destructive, especially if they’re built in advance of the evening. Bonfires make the perfect habitats for hedgehogs due to the brambles and undergrowth that perfectly mimic a hedgerow. Vets believe hundreds of hedgehogs die are burnt alive in bonfires each year, as it’s the time of year when they’re looking to hibernate.

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