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.
Shock in Carmarthenshire as it’s named as one of the top locations for most reckless young drivers in UK
CARMARTHENSHIRE has landed some unwanted publicity after being named as home to some of the most reckless young drivers in the UK.
According to comprehensive analysis by Adrian Flux, the county is one of the areas with the speediest teenagers on the road. On average 87.1% of FluxScore users there will receive a serious warning about their speeding compared to less than one in five in Conwy (17%).
The warnings are triggered by a black box that sits in the driver’s car to monitor their performance in the hope of improving safety and saving them money.
“This gamification style approach has helped sensible drivers save up to 60% for year-long safe driving upon renewal,” said Scott Goodliffe at Adrian Flux, one of the UK’s largest specialist motor insurance brokers.
“Unfortunately, some users are less attentive or cautious and their behaviour is a cause for concern because it leaves them more likely to make a claim or hurt themselves or others.
“It’s disappointing when alerts have to be sent but we’re proud that they are helping to change behaviour behind the wheel. We already know FluxScore is reducing the number of speeders across the board by 70% and hopefully this analysis will help address the small number who negatively impact these already impressive figures slightly.”
There are also considerable concerns about how quickly youngsters are travelling in Rhondda Cynon Taf with the area also being named and shamed in the top 10. It’s a much better picture in Conwy though with youngsters there being rated amongst the most careful drivers in the UK.
Adrian Flux’s self-fitting black box sits on the inside of the windscreen and tracks journeys. It helps reward safe driving by providing daily updates on the FluxScore app to show how the previous 24 hours’ driving has affected a driver’s renewal premium.
FluxScore sends alerts to drivers who it deems as driving dangerously or above the speed limit. The findings focus on Alert 2s, which are considered serious speeding events and take into account other factors such as the type of road. If a driver receives three Alert 2s, this will result in their policy being suspended.
Local specialist contractors needed for countryside works
CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is seeking local specialist countryside contractors for work on Public Rights of Way and conservation sites throughout the county.
Businesses in Carmarthenshire are being encouraged to tender for the countywide framework, which is for two years, starting in September with an option to extend for a further two years.
The work will include the management of nature reserves, mitigation for development and government funded habitat projects on sites with challenging conditions, ecological constraints, wet land and difficult access.
Examples of the work include path maintenance, installation of countryside furniture (stiles and gates), mowing overgrown fields, chainsaw and strimmer work, excavator work, woodland management, fencing and tree planting.
A proven track record and a good understanding of working in the rural and natural environment and knowledge of conservation is essential, as is an understanding of the way that the land changes in challenging weather conditions.
Applicants will need to make available vehicle inspection documents and maintenance records, certificates of operator competency (in relation to plant hire with operatives), health and safety policy and relevant insurance documents.
Any suppliers interested in tendering for this work need to be registered on the National Procurement Portal Sell2Wales website, where they can express their interest and receive further information.
This is a free online service and allows businesses to promote their organisation not only to the council but to other Welsh public sector bodies, and to receive notifications about contract opportunities suitable to their field of work.
The council also encourages businesses to register on the Business Wales Business Directory – a free resource where businesses can advertise their services.
Police appeal for information after vehicle collides with two pedestrians
POLICE say they are appealing for witnesses following a road traffic collision which occurred on College Street, Newcastle Emlyn just after 4pm on Monday 20th June.
A black coloured Honda CRV vehicle collided with two people on the pedestrian crossing.
A 70-year-old female sustained serious injuries and was airlifted to hospital.
A 50-year-old female was taken to hospital by ambulance with what are described as minor injuries
The 64 year old female driver of the vehicle was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Anyone who witnessed the incident, or has information that could help officers with their investigation, or anyone who was driving in the area at the time and has dashcam footage, is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20220620-283.”
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