Vet Diary - Not Such Fun For Animals
As bonfire night approaches, this is the time of year when thoughts turn to fireworks. I can remember as a child the excitement and delight I felt watching fireworks displays. It never occurred to me for a second that other creatures might be scared. However, looking at the situation now, it is perfectly natural that an animal would be terrified of sudden flashes of light and loud bangs. Over the years, fireworks seem to have become more and more powerful, and the bangs can be heard from a long way off.
Thinking back to last year, we actually had people shutting their dogs in the yard and then wondering why the terrified animals had leapt the fence and run off. This happened not just once but on several occassions. Please make sure you walk your dogs before dark, and bring your animals (cats AND dogs) in before dark. Close the curtains early, turn the telly or radio up, and provide a safe hiding place. If your pet wants to hide in the cupboard or behind the settee, provide a covered crate or bed where it can hide in comfort. Let your pet choose their own safe place, don't try to force it. Try to stay calm, if your dog starts running around then just ignore the behaviour, don't either make a fuss of the dog or tell it off.
Small animals such as rabbits who live outside should have their hutches partly covered with a thick blanket, to muffle sound and provide a hiding place. Extra bedding should be supplied such as hay so the animal can burrow in. If you are buying fireworks, please look at lower-noise products.
Please remember our little friends, the hedgehogs. If possible, do not build your bonfire until the day you will be lighting it and poke around in it just before lighting to make sure there is nothing hiding inside.