Pet owners get advice for fireworks night

Animal charities have produced guides advising people on how to keep their pets safe and stress-free this evening.

The PDSA, RSPCA and Blue Cross have advised owners to build dens to give their pets a shelter in which to hide should they become scared when the fireworks start.

They also recommend closing windows and curtains, playing music to muffle the loud bangs, and ensuring pets are fitted with microchips should they manage to escape.

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For outdoor animals, owners are urged to move cages, pens or aviaries inside or partly cover them with blankets so that one area is well sound-proofed.

Caroline Reay, Blue Cross chief vet, said: "So many pets are terrified of fireworks, they can get into a real state. We've seen pets who have been so scared they have injured themselves trying to get away or hide in dangerous places.

"Some have even been killed after bolting from the house in front of a passing car."

Sean Wensley, PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, said: "An important tip for owners, which many find surprising, is that they should not reassure or comfort their pets if they are scared, as this can make the problem worse. Owners, understandably, want to comfort and reassure pets when they are anxious, but this actually rewards their pets' fearful behaviour."