Tag Archives: animals

BONFIRE NIGHT – KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE

Every year, as we approach Bonfire Night as a responsible Firework supplier that the impact on small animals should be addressed before the season starts.

There are a series of simple steps we can all take to help smaller animals and pets stay safe and reduce their anxiety. Here are a few suggestions, as suggested by the RSPCA and Blue Cross animal charities:

• Keep cats and dogs inside
• Under no circumstances should you leave your pet tied up outside or take them along to a display – this is cruel and unnecessary
• Don’t leave your pet alone for too long
• Give them more bedding to burrow in – they will feel more secure
• Bring cages/hutches indoors – into a quiet room, shed or garage. If this is not feasible, cover their cages over or turn them into a wall if they face the garden
• Cover any aviaries/hutches with thick blankets or a duvet to block the sound of the fireworks out
• Make sure you walk your dog early doors – bear in mind that from darkness falling, there will be any number of fireworks around so you will reduce your dog’s stress levels
• Close all curtains, doors and close any cat/dog flaps to stop pets escaping to avoid the noise – they may disappear for good
• If your pet is used to having the noise of the TV, radio or music around, put them on to drown out some of the firework sounds
• Prepare a den perhaps under your bed with some old clothes and their favourite toys – it will help to keep them calm
• Let your dog/cat pace, whine, miaow or bark – if you try to comfort them, you may add to their distress

There have also been incidences over the last few years where horses have bolted, and in some cases, received serious injury. Again, you should plan ahead:

• Check if there are any firework events planned nearby
• Let organisers know if you have horses stabled in the immediate area to ensure that they set up as far from the field as possible
• Check what time the fireworks are due to start – this is at least the point you can ensure your equine friends are stabled if that is the direction you plan to go
• Check fencing is secure and there is nothing lying in the paddock which could cause injury
• Decide whether your horse (and only you know how they are likely to react) will need to be in the stable or out in the field
• If you are putting your horse in the stables, put a radio on to drown out some of the noise and leave it as well lit as possible (this helps to disguise the flashes from the pyrotechnics which can also frighten horses/pets)
• Check your insurance is up to date as you may be held liable for damage caused in the event your horse escapes.

Above all, remember that Bonfire Night is meant to be fun and has been part of the culture for over 400 years so let’s try to keep it safe for everyone including all our pets and of course ourselves.

Share

BE PETSAFE WITH FIREWORKS THIS YEAR

As the 4th July is fast approaching and Bonfire Night is just around the corner, thoughts turn to fireworks and more importantly – our furry friends.

The team at Epic are all animal lovers as many of you will already know so we are anxious to bring you the best advice available to ensure that your pets are as safe and happy as they can be this firework season.

One of the biggest problems around Bonfire Night here in the UK are the irresponsible pet owners who have not taken adequate steps to protect their pets at this potentially very frightening time. Animals, cats and dogs in particular, are highly susceptible to high-pitched noises so the biggest ‘no-no’ of them all is letting them out unattended during Bonfire Season.

Here are some simple but effective hints and tips offered to pet owners from the RSPCA and Blue Cross animal charities:

KEEP EM IN – it’s not rocket science, if your pet needs to be walked, try to do this early evening before the fireworks start.

KEEP CURTAINS, BLINDS AND WINDOWS CLOSED – The vast majority of us today have UPVC windows which keep out much of the noise but check to make sure.

IDENTIFY YOUR PET – make sure that dogs have a collar and tag which easily identifies them and where possible have them microchipped.

LET EM PACE – give your pet the freedom to pace, whine and miaow to their heart’s content. Any attempts to coax or over-sympathize will make the problems worse. Praise good behaviour but if your pet has damaged something try not to shout, as your pet may be distressed it is going to make the situation even worse.

NEVER take your pet to a display – Even if your dog is not generally upset by fireworks, it is a potential for disaster as there will be loud bangs, screeches and whistles on top of the children squealing and screeching too.

45% OF ALL DOGS SHOW SIGNS OF FEAR WHEN THEY HEAR FIREWORKS – firework phobia is a treatable condition so if your dog reacts particularly badly at the sound of fireworks, get in touch with your vet who will have details of animal therapies which are sure to help.

LEAVE A LIGHT ON AND SOME MUSIC – this will reduce the ‘flashes’ being seen from outside and some music will help. Music selections specifically chosen to help calm animals are widely available online and usually are composed of a lovely mixture of soft classical and modern music.

USE LAVENDAR/RESCUE REMEDIES – essential oils have been used for thousands of years in the treatment of nerve related issues – a few drops on a cushion will help – do not be tempted to light a candle in case your pet knocks it over when they are upset. Bach Flower remedies have a range just for pets in the case of fireworks and thunderstorms they recommend the Rock Rose oils.

DESENSITIZATION – this really helps to prevent phobias of loud noises and is one of the things used for working dogs to prevent fear of gunshots etc. Downloads are widely available today and one of the best-selling in the UK is ‘Sounds Scary’. Using this method, 93% of pet owners saw a marked improvement in their pet and it has been scientifically proven to be beneficial to thousands of dogs over the last decade.

ANXIETY WRAP – we featured a product a couple of years ago called a ‘Thundershirt’ which works on the same principle as swaddling a baby and will give your pet the feeling of security. Available for both cats and dogs you must get the right size for maximum effectiveness to ensure that the thundershirt is a secure and snug fitting. These have once again been scientifically proven to help with all situations in which pets can be anxious – in cars, around traffic etc.

EXERCISE – like in humans, exercise stimulates the production of serotonin and it gets rid of pent-up energy which can make a bad situation even worse. There is an old saying; ‘a good dog is a tired dog’.

DISTRACTION – if they have a favourite toy, especially if they are food motivated (Bruce the dog would let you hoover him for some cheese!) try that but one of the best on the market at this time is the Kong toy which can be filled with peanut butter and biscuits to keep the dog distracted for as long a time as possible.

D.A.P. – Dog Appeasing Pheromone – this is a synthetic copy of the hormone secreted by nursing dogs to pacify their puppies and keep them calm. It comes in a plug-in diffuser which lasts around 30-days and is completely odourless to you and I.

The upshot is no-one knows your pet better than you and your vet so if you are worried that they don’t seem to be bouncing back as usual or have pale gums, get in touch with your vet as they may be suffering from shock.

Most of the advice is common sense but it is always handy to have something to hand you can check back on to see where you can turn before having to resort to therapists and expensive vet costs.

Share

Keeping Your Pets Safe This Bonfire Night And Diwali

Bruce asleep

Bonfire Night and Diwali is a great event for all the family but when it comes to pets, irrespective of whether you believe that they are not affected by them or not, you would be best advised to keep them indoors.

Here at Epic, we have an 11-year-old German Shepherd who has heard fireworks since he was a pup (at work etc) but we still take the necessary steps on Bonfire Night as it is even a disturbing time for him.

It can be a very frightening time for pets and it is not only the noise levels, as there will be children squealing as well as the screeches and reports on the fireworks for them to contend with. It is a very confusing time for dogs in particular as their hearing is super sensitive. That said, smaller animals like cats, mice, gerbils, ferrets and rabbits will also be affected.

Over the years, there have been a number of things created to help to address this issue. Here are some simple tips to protect your pets:

• Keep cats and dogs inside
• Under no circumstances should you leave your pet tied up outside or take them along to a display – this is cruel and unnecessary
• Don’t leave your pet alone for too long
• Give them more bedding to burrow in – they will feel more secure
• Bring cages/hutches indoors – into a quiet room, shed or garage. If this is not feasible, cover their cages over or turn them into a wall if they face the garden
• Cover any aviaries/hutches with thick blankets or a duvet to block the sound of the fireworks out
• Make sure you walk your dog early doors – bear in mind that from darkness falling, there will be any number of fireworks around so you will reduce your dog’s stress levels
• Close all curtains, doors and close any cat/dog flaps to stop pets escaping to avoid the noise – they may disappear for good
• If your pet is used to having the noise of the TV, radio or music around, put them on to drown out some of the firework sounds
• Prepare a den perhaps under your bed with some old clothes and their favourite toys – it will help to keep them calm
• Let your dog/cat pace, whine, miaow or bark – if you try to comfort them, you may add to their distress

If you have a horse or pony, make sure you let any local Committee’s know, keep them in a familiar environment and if you know that your Horse reacts badly to noise, you may be as well arranging some stabling away from any possible noise for the night.

If you have a particularly anxious pet, you should speak to your vet about treatments that can help. Both traditional and homoeopathic remedies such as Flower Essences and other natural products are available and have been found to be very useful in many cases. It is important that you discuss any treatments with your vet before using them.

If you are having a Bonfire with your fireworks display, make sure that there are no animals hiding before lighting by tapping and poking into the pre-lit fire gently. Hedgehogs in particular when they are looking for shelter for the Winter Hibernation will make a home in a warm compost heap so the inviting pile of rubbish and wood will be just the thing. We don’t want to be hurting Mrs Tiggywinkle now do we.

Here are some animal support charities who can offer advice or assistance to you this Bonfire Night and Diwali:

Blue Cross For Pets – https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/fireworks-and-pets

PDSA Firework Tips – https://www.pdsa.org.uk/

Soundproof Dog Kennel – http://epicfireworks.com/blog/2012/04/soundproof-dog-kennel-protecting-your-pooch-this-4th-july/

Share