BONFIRENIGHT is here, and many pet owners worry that the firework season will mean increased stress for their pets. Lots of animals are afraid of the loud sounds and flashing lights that accompany fireworks, but there are lots of ways to make sure that your pet feels as comfortable and safe as possible on the night.
Speaking ahead of bonfire night, Andrew Bucher, Chief Veterinary Officer at MedicAnimal, said:
“What is undoubtedly an exciting and fun time of the year, particularly for children, is one of the most stressful for animals. Many pet owners are not aware of the extent to which their animals can be affected. Dogs can hear around twice amount of sound frequencies to humans, and cats over three times, so they are extra sensitive to loud noises like fireworks. However, there are things owners can do to make pets as calm as possible. It is important to remember that it is not just bonfire night itself, but the weeks before as the fireworks start to go up, and we all need to do more to ensure our pets are safe and calm through this period.”
Top tips: dogs and cats
1) Always keep your cats and dogs inside on bonfire night. It’s important that they feel free to hide in a place they’re familiar with if they want to, so if they want to run off and hide behind the sofa or under the bed – do let them.
2) Walk your dog early in the night, before it gets dark if possible. Keep them on the lead so they don’t run off if they get scared.
3) Create a den for your cat or dog using a cardboard box or puppy cage covered in some of their favourite blankets, which will block out the noise and flashing lights. If you do this, get them used to sleeping in the den in the period coming up to bonfire night so that they find it a relaxing and safe space. Don’t lock them in the cage though – they should be able to escape if they want to.
4) Although it might be tempting to cuddle and fuss over your pet, this can reinforce their feelings of stress and fear. Remain calm and try and distract your pet by playing a game or with treats.
5) Dogs and cats are more likely to drink more when they’re stressed so make sure their water bowl is accessible and full at all times.
6) There are several products on the market which can really help cats and dogs stay calm in times of stress. Look out for Feliway for cats, a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone, which comes as a spray or diffuser and which helps create a soothing atmosphere for your cat. You could try Calmex for your dog, which is a combination of amino acids, plant extract, and B-vitamins. There are lots of products on the market, so always speak to your vet first to find out which is best for your pet.
Top tips: horses and ponies
1) Try to keep your horse’s routine as normal as possible on bonfire night. In most cases it’s best to keep your horse stabled at night and give it lots of hay to distract it, even if they usually live out.
2) If possible, close the barn doors and play the radio or music to help cover up the sounds. Sometimes it’s also recommended to put cotton wool in your horse’s ears to muffle the sound further. Get your horse used to this as much as possible before the event and obviously use common sense – don’t do it if it will be another cause of stress.
3) Make sure your horse’s stable is secure and that they can’t escape. There should be nothing in the stable that can injure them if they start pacing or getting stressed, so make sure there are no low-hanging hay nets that they can get their hooves caught in, protruding nails, or any other dangerous hazards.
4) If you think your horse will get so stressed it will injure itself you should speak to your vet about sedation and whether this could be a good option for you and your horse.
5) Put your own safety first – horses are flight animals and if they get scared very little will stand in the way of their escape. If you’re worried, keep your riding helmet on when you’re around your horse on bonfire night and don’t stay in enclosed spaces with your horse if it is getting stressed.
Top tips: small animals
1) If your small pet usually lives outside, try to move their cage indoors or into a shed or garage.
2) Cover their cage with blankets to help block out the light and some of the sound.
3) Give your rabbit, hamster, or guinea pig extra bedding so that they can burrow down and make a den.
4) Try to distract your pet by hiding treats in their bedding to keep them occupied.
5) Never have your own firework display or bonfire near your pet – if you really want to do it make sure that their hutch or cage is far enough away.
Global Litter Charity has announced the date of its next Welsh litter picking event
THE UOCEAN Project, part of the Vayyu Foundation, which has set itself the target of removing 1 billion kilos of waste from the world’s oceans by 2030, will be holding its next litter collection taskforce event at Pembrey Country Park in Carmarthenshire.
Everyone is invited to join The UOcean Project volunteers and to make a difference by collecting litter, especially plastics, which are polluting our environment and ending up in the world’s oceans. The UOcean Project has highlighted the dramatic increase in litter from plastic bags to face masks since lockdown restrictions were lifted, making it even more important to clean-up and reduce waste pollution.
Chris Desai, head of The UOcean Project commented. “Picking up one plastic bottle or single use face mask may not appear to be significant, but at each event we are collecting many kilos of plastic because more and more individuals are joining our litter picking teams.
The combined collections here and overseas are the only way to make a difference and start fighting back against pollution.”
The UOcean Project organises litter pick-up teams who work across the UK, especially around coastlines, as well as internationally. By organising volunteers into Chapters and providing them with the tools and equipment to pick up litter, they have already collected 53,000 kilos of waste which would have ended up in the seas.
All volunteers are provided with the equipment needed to safely pick up litter so that it can be disposed of in the right way. For more information about The UOcean Project please go to the website www.theuoceanproject.com
Warning! Dangerous Valium circulating in Llanelli
Warning! Dangerous Valium circulating in
POLICE are warning drug users in Llanelli to take extra care following information received that dangerous valium is circulating in the area.
A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “We have reasons to believe that the drugs being distributed and used in the Llanelli area at present could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.
“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately should they become unwell.
“Please share this information with anyone that you believe could come into contact with these drugs.”
To seek advice and support, visit https://barod.cymru/where-to-get-help/west-wales-services/ddas-dyfed-drug-and-alcohol-service/
Please be aware that some services may operate an automated service outside office hours.
In an emergency, or if you think someone’s life is at risk, always dial 999.
Parents warned to look out for respiratory illness in children
RESPIRATORY Syncytial Virus (RSV) is circulating amongst children and toddlers in the Hywel Dda area (Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire)
Hywel Dda UHB Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive Dr Philip Kloer said: “Because of the COVID restrictions, there have been few cases of RSV during the pandemic, but this virus has returned and in higher numbers now people are mixing more.
“RSV is a common respiratory illness which is usually picked up by children during the winter season, and causes very few problems to the majority of children. However, very young babies, particularly those born prematurely, and children with heart or lung conditions, can be seriously affected and it’s important that parents are aware of the actions to take.”
Parents are being encouraged to look out for symptoms of severe infection in at-risk children, including:
*a high temperature of 37.8°C or above (fever)
*a dry and persistent cough, difficulty feeding, rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing).
The best way to prevent RSV is to wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser regularly, dispose of used tissues correctly, and to keep surfaces clean and sanitised.
Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks, but you should contact your GP or call NHS 111 if:
- You are worried about your child.
- Your child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last two or three feeds, or they have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more.
- Your child has a persistent high temperature of 37.8C or above.
- Your child seems very tired or irritable.
Dial 999 for an ambulance if:
- your baby is having difficulty breathing
- your baby’s tongue or lips are blue
- there are long pauses in your baby’s breathing
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