Bonfire night is nearly here, and although it may be a fun time for people, many pets are understandably fearful of the loud noises and bangs of the fireworks accompanying this event.

Here are some tips to help your pets through this stressful time:

• Keep your pets indoors, and cover the hutch of your guinea pig or rabbit
• Exercise dogs during the daytime
• Microchip your dog or cat in case it does escape when it is frightened
• Provide a quiet place for them, a nice bed with lots of comforting blankets, and extra hay and straw for guinea pigs and rabbits
• Close the windows and curtains, and put on some music or the television to block out the loud noises
• Don’t fuss or try to reassure your pet when it is frightened as it encourages the behaviour, but carry on as nothing is happening. If the pet is calm you can reward it with a cuddle or small treat

• Install a DAP diffuser as a source of additional comfort. DAP is a synthetic version of a chemical produced by the bitch after birth to reassure newborn puppies, but it also makes older dogs feel more relaxed and confident. It is best to start using this 2 weeks before the event
• Use Zylkene, a food supplement made from a protein that has a calming influence similar to tranquilliser drugs as valium, but without the side effects. It can be used in dogs and cats before and during the fireworks
• Some animals may need sedatives prescribed by your vet

Enjoy your Fireworks, be safe, and make sure your pets are safe too.

…  Anne