10 Tips to Help Keep Pets Safe and Calm During Fireworks
RSPCA is urging pet owners to take steps to ensure their furry friend stays safe and calm during fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
Unfortunately, many pets – especially horses and dogs – are very frightened by fireworks and try to escape the loud noises, sometimes injuring themselves in the process.
Dogs have been known to jump through glass windows and easily jump over, or dig under, fences that would usually contain them.
RSPCA encourages pet owners to be well prepared for New Year’s Eve and follow our 10 tips to minimise the risks to their pets.
A schedule of approved fireworks displays is published here, with events listed up to two weeks in advance.
10 TIPS TO KEEP PETS SAFE AND CALM:
Prepare early and, if your pet has had issues with noise anxiety in the past, ask your vet about treatment options.
Make sure your dog or cat is micro-chipped and that the contact details are up to date. Also, make sure they are wearing an ID tag, so they can be returned quickly if they escape.
Take your dog for a reasonably long walk in the evening, then, after a couple of hours, feed them dinner – a tired and well-fed dog will be less anxious.
Remain calm around your pet so they don’t pick up on any nervous energy, and try to engage them in normal activities while rewarding calm behaviour.
Keep your pet indoors, if possible, and provide access to a hiding place where they can retreat – like a crate or a small room. Make sure they’ve got access to food and water in their hiding place, and a favourite blanket or toy to comfort them.
Close all blinds and curtains in the house, keep lights on, and play music or turn on the TV to mask the sound of fireworks.
Never tether your dog during fireworks and never use a choke chain to restrain your dog, as dogs who panic can choke themselves.
If possible, stay at home with your pet or organise someone familiar to be home with them until the fireworks have finished.
Ensure small pets are secured in their hutch/enclosure and bring them inside, if possible.
Stable horses and cover windows to mask the sight of the fireworks. Ensure the stable is free from any sharp objects that could injure a panicked horse.
Comments attributed to Executive Manager Community Engagement Maree Daniels:
“Fireworks can be very scary for our pets – the unexpected and ongoing loud bangs can make animals very anxious and fearful.
Fireworks can pose a physical risk to pets too, with reports of animals running through windows or fencing trying to escape the noise, inflicting significant and, in some cases, life-threatening injuries.
The best way to protect your pet’s physical and emotional well-being is to be well prepared.
Check beforehand if there are fireworks displays scheduled near your property and, if so, take steps to keep your pet safe and calm.”