Many animals are terrified by firework displays.
Make sure your pet is micro-chipped and wearing an ID tag, and that your contact details are up to date on the microchip register, in case they accidentally escape.
- Dogs and horses, in particular, may try to run away, sometimes injuring themselves in the process.
- Many of these dogs can end up several kilometres from home.
- Dogs have been known to jump through plate glass windows to escape loud noises, and jump over/dig under fences that would normally contain them.
What can I do for my dog?
- Prepare early (check out Schedule of Fireworks in Western Australia).
- Talk to your vet about treatment options for managing noise phobias.
- Take your dog out for exercise before the fireworks then feed them—a tired and well-fed dog will be less anxious during the night.
Let your dog be with you (or someone responsible) and try to be calm and normal.
- Avoid fussing over your pet excessively but try to engage them in normal activities such as playing.
- Reward your dog for their calm behaviour.
- Close the blinds/curtains, create a safe, comfortable hiding place—put on some music/TV to help mask the noise outside, and distract your dog with games and food.
- Dogs who panic can choke themselves on a collar or lead, so never tether your dog during these times and never use a choke chain to restrain your dog.
What about cats, rabbits and other pets?
Cats should be kept indoors during fireworks displays.
- Most cats will find somewhere safe to hide and will usually venture out when the noise stops.
- Make sure you cat is microchipped and your details are up to date on the microchip register in case they wander and become lost.
- Rabbits and other small animals like guinea pigs should be safely housed during the fireworks display.
Horses are particularly vulnerable to bolting when exposed to fireworks.
- If possible they should be securely stabled, or relocated away from the fireworks display.
- Remove any sharp objects that might injure a panicking animal.
- Cover stable windows to hide the sight of the fireworks and dim the noise.
- Make sure you supply plenty of food and water.