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Fireworks and animals don’t mix

Posted 4 November 2018 by Gold FM in Education

 Planning to set off fireworks? Please remember livestock, wildlife and animals in the vicinity when lighting fireworks.

Consider speaking to your neighbours, or leaving a note in their letterbox, so that those with pets and livestock can prepare accordingly.

The SPCA says people without pets need to be aware of the stress their use of fireworks can cause others in their neighbourhood and act considerately.
Here are their top tips for pet and livestock owners.

  • Never let fireworks off close to animals.
  • Stay with your pet – they will be less stressed with someone they trust close by.
  • Keep them indoors – they won’t see the flashes and the bangs will be muffled. Close doors and windows and draw the curtains. 
  • Turn up the volume on your radio or TV to help drown out loud bangs with familiar sounds.
  • Make sure that your cat or dog has somewhere comforting to hide such as an igloo, box, crate or somewhere they feel safe to retreat to.
  • Exercise your dog early in the day to avoid being out during dusk when fireworks could be set off.
  • Both cats and dogs should be microchipped and have a collar and identification tag with your contact details on it. If your pet panics and runs away, it will help reuniting you with your pet.
  • Comfort your pet – this could mean cuddling them if it helps or giving them space, depending on what your pet needs. Try to behave in a calm and reassuring manner. Take special care of elderly or nervous pets.
  • Never punish your pets when they are scared. This will only make their fear and stress levels worse.
  • Move horses and farm animals away from fireworks. Make sure all fences are secure. Stable horses where possible. Do this well in advance so that the animals have a chance to get used to their new surroundings.
  • Don’t forget small pets like rabbits, guinea pigs or chickens. Have them tucked away or even inside for the night.

Keep in mind that for some animals, fireworks can be a real phobia and should be treated with medication. Speak with your vet for options before the fireworks start.