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ManxSPCA issues fireworks advice for pet owners

Six steps to help prepare sensitive animals

The Manx Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has issued advice for pet-owners ahead of tonight's official TT firework display in Douglas.

The event was brought forward to 11pm today - not Friday as previously advertised - as the weather forecast for tomorrow evening is poor.

Juana Warburton says there are short-term and long-term solutions to help nervous pets:

The ManxSPCA's advice in full is:

1. Stay calm.
This sounds simple but our pets are very receptive to our own behaviour and mood. Remaining calm, happy and cheerful will send positive signals to your pet.
If you have a dog, try to continue with the same routine if possible and keep your dog well exercised during the daylight hours before there is a risk of fireworks.If you walk your dog at night it might be worth going out earlier if you can.

2. Provide a safe place for your pet to retreat
Let your pet retreat to a place in the house that they will feel safe and don’t remove them from this place or make it unavailable for them. You could also make a safe den – try providing an unwashed jumper and one of your pet’s toys to provide them with the comfort of your scent and their usual surroundings.

3. Remove visual stimulation by closing curtains and blinds
Ensure you are able to remove any visual fear stimulation by closing the curtains or blinds before dusk when fireworks are likely to be going off. Keeping the lights on in the house will reduce the flashes from fireworks that still sneak through the curtains.

4. Feed your pet earlier.
Even if it means changing your feeding schedule slightly, it is advisable to feed your pets before the fireworks are likely to start. A fearful pet may quickly lose their appetite.

5. Ensure your pet is microchipped and wearing a safety collar
It is advised that you keep dogs and cats indoors during fireworks. Even if you have a pet cat that is not particularly fearful in the house, they may become frightened if they are exploring outdoors. It’s worth ensuring both dogs and cats are microchipped and wearing an ID collar, just in case the unthinkable happens and they run away or manage to get out of the house.

6. If you have a rabbit it would be a good idea to cover the hatch with a blanket so they don't get spooked.

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