A BARNSLEY vet is advising people how to prepare their pets in the run up to bonfire night.

Tony Duffy, from Abbey Vets, said fireworks often leave pets literally shaking with fear.

"Try to ensure your pet has access to a well curtained or blacked out room as it begins to get dark," he said.

"Also, make sure your dog is walked earlier in the day before fireworks start."

Within the room owners should make a cosy den for their pet. They can also use devices containing pheromones near to the den.

Owners can distract pets by providing background sounds from a radio or television.

Tony said: "If a pet is showing signs of stress, people should resist the temptation to reassure him with physical contact such as cuddling as this can inadvertently reinforce the fear.

"Medication may be useful in some cases but must only be given under a vet's supervision."

Small pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters also need to be treated with special care when fireworks are being let off, with hutches brought indoors or into a shed or garage.

"If this is not possible you should turn the hutch around so that it faces a wall or fence instead of the open garden," Tony added. 

"A thick blanket or duvet will block out firework flashes and deaden the sound of explosions, but always make sure that you leave plenty of ventilation."