VETS in the Borders say they are preparing for a rise in calls from worried owners whose pets are terrified of fireworks.

With bonfire night approaching, Border Vets, which has surgeries in Galashiels, Innerleithen and Selkirk, is issuing top tips on how to keep dogs and cats calm.

And it is encouraging owners to follow its guidelines to keep their four-legged friends safe.

Mel Broad from the firm said: "With the fireworks season stretching over several weeks, this can be a difficult time for pets and their owners. Our advice is to think ahead so you can keep them happy, safe and comfortable.

"Dogs should not be left alone during this time and even pets that have previously shown no fear can become sensitive, so it is advisable to speak to your vet for advice.

"Providing a safe place where they can hide, like a den, is a good idea and talking to your veterinary practice about any suitable medications."

Border Vets has issued its top tips to owners to keep their pets safe and calm.

They include:

1. Keep dogs and cats inside when fireworks are being let off.

2. Make sure your dog is walked earlier in the day before fireworks start.

3. Close windows and doors and block off cat flaps to stop pets escaping.

4. Draw the curtains and block out the noise of fireworks with TV or radio.

5. Make sure dogs are wearing collars and tags in case they bolt and ensure microchip details are up to date so they can be quickly reunited with you.

6. Avoid leaving your pet home alone in the evenings when fireworks are going off.

7. Keep calm and reassure your pet to make them feel safe and secure. Shouting at a frightened pet will only make them more stressed.

8. Prepare a safe place or ‘den’ where your pet can hide when fireworks start so they feel safe and comfortable.

9. Cover rabbit hutches or aviaries with blankets to block out sight of fireworks and reduce sound of bangs.

10. Bring hutches or cages indoors, if possible, or into a garage or shed.