Bonfire Night is just around the corner which means many of you will be looking forward to going to your local firework and bonfire displays. They are always great fun for us but there are some hazards for your pets which you need to look out for to make sure they stay safe.

The most common calls we get at this time of year involve dogs and cats who have come into contact with fireworks (including sparklers) and glow sticks.  Unfortunately, being curious, they may mistake them for a tasty snack!

Sparklers are made of a combustible gunpowder-type material but luckily the quantity of chemicals is small and if eaten they generally only cause vomiting and diarrhoea.  However, a burning sparkler has a temperature similar to a welding torch so beware of burns to the mouth or skin if your dog or cat chews or touches it.

Glowsticks are very popular at this time of year and the plastic tubing contains chemicals which are irritant.  Fortunately these are not very toxic to pets and they also taste bitter so your dog or cat is unlikely to want to eat a large amount!  You may see some signs though and if you do you will notice them immediately.  They include frothing or foaming at the mouth and vomiting but usually only last a few minutes. Offer your pet something to drink or give them a tasty treat to take away the nasty taste and they should recover quickly.

So your top tips this Guy Fawkes night are to store your fireworks and glowsticks safely and away from your pets and to clean up firework debris promptly so that an animal will not be tempted to eat it!

Some other types of fireworks may cause more significant signs, so if you are concerned, you can call Animal PoisonLine on 01202 509 000 at any time. One of our veterinary poisons specialists will be able to let you know whether you need to take your pet to the vet urgently or whether you can look after them at home.

Handle fireworks with care and keep your family and pets safe this bonfire night.