Yes, it’s that time of year again - one most pet and wildlife lovers up and down the country loathe... firework season.
A number of years ago when writing for the now sadly defunct, Dog World, I wrote a well-received piece titled ‘Remember, remember the 5th October’ because, that’s exactly when the fireworks first began to be set off in our neighbourhood.
Each year it seems to arrive earlier and end later, and those loud bangs and explosions bring absolute terror - and occasionally even death - to thousands of dogs, cats and other animals such as horses up and down the country.
When I was growing up, fireworks night was just that - one or two nights around November 5 but, in recent years, we’ve allowed it to sprawl over a longer and longer period.
How can we really call ourselves a nation of animal lovers when we allow such carnage to go on?
Thankfully, this year has been mercifully light - where I live at any rate - on fireworks being set off at all hours.
Maybe this is down to Covid or a lack of easy availability in a number of supermarkets. Whatever, the reason, I know a lot of pets and their owners will be very grateful for the respite!
If you’re an owner of a nervous dog, my heart really goes out to you at this time of year.
I once owned a dog that was terrified of loud bangs and to see a previously happy dog turned into a cringing nervous wreck by the bangs of fireworks is absolutely heartbreaking.
Thankfully, there are things you can do.
Our dogs each have a covered crate, providing a safe dark space for them – like a den. We also leave a radio on along with the light; one drowns out the effect of the bang, the other stops the flash.
We also found some of the natural remedies, now widely available, helped enormously, along with a special kind of jacket that gives your dog the feeling that he/she is being hugged.
Also please make sure your dog is given a long walk before dark.
For further advice visit www.rspca.org.uk