Firework season is upon us and it can be a frightening time for pets. In 2018, a report published by the PDSA found that around 40% of cat and dog owners reported that their pet is afraid of fireworks.
Sudden loud bangs and flashes which fireworks give off can cause anxiety in pets and therefore cause dogs and cats to feel stressed. If you have a pet that is already anxious and struggles with new situations, don’t hesitate to consult an animal behaviourist for advice and guidance.
How to prepare your pet for bonfire night
To prepare your pet for bonfire night, it’s best to start in the months leading up to the night. There are many ways you can help them to feel calm when fireworks are going off:
Signs your pet is scared of fireworks
Along with following the above steps to prepare your pet for fireworks night, be aware of the signs of stress in dogs and cats so you can adapt your environment and care for your pet on the night.
How to keep your pet calm during fireworks
When bonfire night arrives, it’s best to be as prepared as possible. Spend some time researching when local firework displays are taking place and chat with your neighbours to check if they will be holding their own so you know exactly what to expect.
Once the fireworks have begun there are a range of things you can do to help keep your pet calm:
If you are considering giving your pet calming medications, seek advice from a qualified animal behaviourist and/or your local Animal Trust vet.
At any time if you notice a stress signal in your pet, you notice that their fear of fireworks is getting worse, or they are showing signs of unusual behaviour; contact your local Animal Trust surgery for a consultation, free of charge.
For more information on how to care for your pets during fireworks, an expert member of the Animal Trust team is more than happy to helpBook a free consultation
Spring is finally here: the temperature is rising, the flowers are starting to bloom and the evenings are becoming lighter, meaning we have more time throughout the day to enjoy the garden with our pets.
Whether you have a dog or cat, our pets love to explore the garden, coming into contact with a new environment which inhabits different scents, textures and green living organisms. However, our outside space can expose dogs and cats to a few spring hazards, as they can come into contact with poisonous plants, garden materials and creatures which can make them very ill.
Poisonous House and Garden Plants to Dogs
Although some of our household favourites, there are several types of flowers and plants which are poisonous to dogs. When out in the garden, dogs love to dig in the soil and, unfortunately for gardeners, chew the leaves of flowers and plants. Some plants and flowers can be highly toxic to dogs if ingested and can make our pets very unwell.
Here is a list of some of the more common plants which are toxic to dogs, but there are others too:
Poisonous house and garden plants to cats
There are also some common house and garden plants which are hazardous to our cat’s health. The following list includes some of the more commonly seen plants which are poisonous to cats and if ingested, could make them very unwell:
Signs and symptoms of plant poisoning in cats and dogs
If you’re worried whether your cat or dog has ingested any of the poisonous plants identified above, they may show signs of:
- Feeling weak
As soon as you suspect that your pet has eaten a hazardous plant, get in touch with your local vet immediately. If you’re in doubt whether a plant is pet-friendly, it’s best not to place it in the home or the garden at all to avoid any risk of making them unwell.
What garden plants are dog-friendly?
Luckily for green-fingered pet owners, there are several dog-friendly, non-toxic garden plants available in most plant stores that provide no hazardous risk to your dog. You can plant any of the following flowers and plants in your garden feeling confident that they won’t harm your dog if they bite or chew them.
- African Violet
- Berry plants (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry)
- Lambs Ears (Stachys byzantina)
- Venus fly traps
What garden plants are cat-friendly?
There are also many cat-friendly plants available that can be planted in the garden or placed around the home. If your cat chews or ingests the pollen from any of the following plants they pose no toxicity risk, these plants include:
- African Violet
- Baby’s breath
- Boston ferns
- Dactylis glomerata (cat grass)
- Miscanthus (maiden grass)
- Nepeta (cat mint)
- Spider plants
Dog-friendly garden surfaces
Depending on the surface, the garden path can also be hazardous for pets. Pebbles, stones and gravel can easily be ingested, particularly if you have a young puppy who is tempted to chew new and exciting objects. These materials can also get stuck in your pet’s paws, in between their pads, which can make it painful to walk once they become lodged.
Pesticides, slugs and snails
Dogs can become very ill if they ingest an infected slug or snail. Lungworm larvae, which is found in an infected snail, slug or frog, can grow inside your dog or cat and cause haemorrhages in their vital organs and can be fatal.
Using chemical pesticides to reduce the risk of slugs and snails entering your garden may seem like an obvious choice to get rid of these pests, however, most slug and snail pellets are also highly toxic to dogs and cats. The pellets can look appealing to our pets who may lick or eat them, but they are highly toxic and contain a chemical called metaldehyde, which can make them seriously unwell.
If your pet eats pesticide pellets, the symptoms of poisoning are noticeable within an hour and your pet may have the following symptoms:
Grass seeds can easily get stuck and buried in your pet’s ears and eyes which can be very painful. The seeds have pointy ends which can burrow down and pierce into your dog’s skin if they get trapped in their fur.
Dogs with longer fur are more prone to picking up grass seeds, particularly if they’re walking through fields or if they roll around in the grass. If you think your dog has got a seed embedded, they may limp, lick or hold up their paw, or they may shake their head and paw at their ears if one gets stuck in that area.
To prevent your pet from picking up grass seeds, keep their fur trimmed short and brush their fur down after a walk so you can remove any that may become trapped in their fur.