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Five Ways to Help your Pets Cope wi...

Bonfire Night and the end-of-year festivities may be fun for us, but these noisy celebrations are often frightening for our furry friends. So we’ve ro...


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To the Town Folk of Thrapston,   I am writing on behalf of the Col’s Fund to thank the people of Thrapston who had a plot on the recent Gar...


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Five Ways to Help your Pets Cope with Fireworks – From Lakeview Vets

Bonfire Night and the end-of-year festivities may be fun for us, but these noisy celebrations are often frightening for our furry friends. So we’ve rounded up five ways to help you keep your cat or dog calm and happy throughout the silly season.

Loud, unexpected sounds, like thunder, sirens and fireworks, are enough to scare anyone. And when you take pets’ exceptional hearing into account, it’s clear that the bangs, bursts and shrieks in the run-up to Guy Fawkes Night or New Year’s Eve can be especially distressing for them.

To understand why, you should first consider your cat or dog’s survival instincts. In the wild, an abrupt sound would almost certainly indicate danger, and an animal’s instinctual ‘fight-or-flight’ response could help them to either escape, or confront, the threat. While noisy fireworks don’t pose the same life-threatening risk to pet, their instincts are still as deeply ingrained – which explains why some might run away (‘flight’), while others could become aggressive (‘fight’).

This fear response creates a flood of activity within your cat or dog’s body: your pet’s heart rate increases, and the release of fear-triggered hormones such as adrenaline could cause them to become hypersensitive or extremely alert. In this anxious state, your pet might then withdraw or lash out to cope with this sudden onset of bewildering symptoms.

We understand that as a caring pet owner you hate to see your cat or dog in distress. So how can you prevent this unnecessary anxiety? We have five ways to help your pet to cope with fireworks and any other frights:


  • 1. Create a safe space


Cats are creatures of habit, and thrive on the familiar – which means that yours is unlikely to take to a new space you’ve created for her straight away, no matter how cosy it may seem. Instead, try to make your kitty’s usual hiding spot as comforting and soundproof as possible. You can do this by adding her favourite blanket and toy to the space, and using blankets or thick curtains to muffle sounds from outside.


Your dog might be more receptive to a spot that’s created especially for him. Ensure that this is comfortable, but hidden away, and is filled with familiar items. You may also want to choose a room with double-glazed windows, which will minimise noise.

Both your cat and dog will appreciate having unwanted sounds filtered out by the everyday chatter of the radio or the TV. Try turning yours on at a low volume, and keep in mind that the more familiar the sound is to your pet, the more comforting it’s likely to be.


  • 2. Get a pet sitter


To help prevent anxiety in your pets, you should bring them inside during firework season and keep your doors and windows firmly shut. And it’s just as important to make sure that your pet has a comforting presence to rely on during this time. While they’ll prefer to be with you, it might not always be possible to be at home, so enlisting the help of an experienced pet sitter can help.

To really ensure that your pets have nothing to worry about, introduce them to the sitter on at least two or three other occasions and make sure to incorporate some fun playtime during these sessions. That way, your cat or dog will associate the sitter with happy memories and is sure to feel more at ease.


  • 3. Try calming products


Happily, there are now great products on the market to help your pet remain calm. A plug-in pheromone diffuser is one such gadget available from your veterinary practice, and works by releasing synthetic versions of your pet’s natural feel-good pheromones. (Pheromones are chemical substances produced by an animal, which can affect their behaviour. For example, a mother cat or dog will produce certain types of pheromones to soothe her litters while they’re suckling.) There are versions that work specifically for cats or for dogs, and that are tailored to the kind of calming effect you’re seeking.

Another great invention is the Sounds Scary treatment programme, available to download for free from dogstrust.co.uk . It works by initially playing loud noises, such as fireworks, at a low volume, and slowly increasing the sound until your pet becomes accustomed to, and eventually completely comfortable with, these noises.


  • 4. Find the right balance


It might be your natural impulse to fuss over your pets as soon as they show the first sign of distress, but some experts believe that reacting this way to every yelp or mew could ‘reward’ fearful behaviour. If this is the case, your pet could start to associate all loud, scary noises with your positive attention – leading to a vicious cycle.

Instead, aim to get the balance right. Give your pet space to hide if they need to, and give them the comfort they need should they seek it, but keep your own behaviour as normal as possible throughout. This way your cat or dog will learn from your reactions that there’s nothing to fear. If you do sense that it’s necessary to interact with your pets to help calm them, try a distraction technique – such as a game involving a favourite toy instead.


  • 5. Seek specialist help


If you’ve tried all of these tricks before, and nothing seems to ease your pet’s anxiety, it may be worth exploring professional sound therapy with a clinical animal behaviourist for long-lasting results. Visit apbc.org.uk to find one, or ask us to recommend someone in your area.

In the meantime, you could also speak to us about ways to keep your cat or dog calm on nights that you know will be especially noisy. Arrange an appointment with us today to discuss your pet’s options.


Thrapston Garage Sale donates to Charity

To the Town Folk of Thrapston,logo


I am writing on behalf of the Col’s Fund to thank the people of Thrapston who had a plot on the recent Garage sale, and to the people of Thrapston who brought a map and went around the town in support of the day.


The money raised, £500 which will be put to good use with the charity, every penny that we raise is used by the charity to support our wounded, and our our bereaved families.


I would also like to thank Lindsey and the committee for supporting our charity by fund raising on the Garage Sale day, the work that the committee does is outstanding, and we should all be proud of the community spirit that Thrapston has, which can be seen each year at events like the Charter Fair and the other events that the town hosts.


I would like to take the opportunity again to explain what The Grenadier Guards Col’s Fund is all about, it is a Registered Charity, Number 1062257, was set up to support wounded members of the Regiment through their recovery, their families and the Bereaved families, who have been killed in action or wounded on operations in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.


I have been employed by the charity since 2012 as the Regimental Casualty Officer. I left the Grenadier Guards after completing twenty eight(28) years service from 1984 to 2012. I am now responsible for delivering the care and support to over fifty five(55) wounded Grenadiers and their families and twenty one(21) bereaved families.


The Regiment has been involved in many operational tours of service in recent times, Northern Ireland, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and most recently they completed three(3) tours of Afghanistan.


During Northern Ireland we lost five(5) Grenadiers and in Afghanistan we lost fifteen(15) Grenadiers and one(1) Grenadier that was killed in a training accident whilst preparing for operations.


The list of injuries range from; Loss of limbs which include double and single amputations, Loss of eye sight, brain injuries, blast injuries, and the hidden injuries that are mental health, which includes PTSD(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).


I deliver this support by visiting the individuals and their families on a regular basis and by putting together funding requests when required to help these individuals when they require the support, and by sign posting and working with other charities that are able to help our Grenadiers.


The wounded and the families live across the United Kingdom and i travel as far north as Glasgow in Scotland, through England from the North east and west down as far as Falmouth covering all areas in between, i also have individuals and families in North, south and west Wales.

The Regiment is committed to supporting our wounded and bereaved and has an increasing number of mental health cases that are coming forward, and is consistently carry out charity events and are for ever grateful of others for their charitable support, which enables us to continue to deliver this support where it is much needed.


Finally I would like to take this opportunity once more for thanking the committee and the people of Thrapston for supporting our charity, with out the support and generosity of people like yourself we wouldn’t be able to support our wounded and bereaved in the manner that we do.


Kind regards


Mr Matthew Ellmer

Regimental Casualty Officer

Grenadier Guards