We have put together a few guidelines to follow when it comes to animals and fireworks.
All precautions should be taken to safeguard animals
Cats and dogs should be identified with a microchip and/or an ID disc attached to their collars in case of emergencies. All cats’ collars should have an elastic insert.
If you are aware that your pet becomes very nervous and terrified of loud noises, consult your veterinarian who will advise you of a suitable sedative (or use something natural like rescue remedy) .
Make sure that your pets are kept indoors when fireworks are being discharged (be careful near glass windows, a frightened dog will jump through a window)
IF YOU PLAN TO USE FIREWORKS
Whether you wish to use fireworks during Guy Fawkes, for religious celebrations or any other reason, it is imperative that you check first with your local Municipality and ensure that you conform to all the regulations in your area.
Inform your neighbours in good time so that they can make arrangements for their animals. OR REFRAIN FROM DOING FIREWORKS!!!
Domestic pets suffer severe stress as a result of the discharge of fireworks (their hearing is MUCH more acute than ours so what to us is a loud bang is a HUGE noise to them. Remember they don’t know it is Guys Fawkes and they are supposed to be watching pretty lights in the sky. It is just frightening noise of unknown origin)
Other animals such as farm animals and birds can also become affected if in close proximity when fireworks are discharged.
Keep your cat indoors.
Close all windows and curtains and switch on music or the television to drown out the noise.
Leave your cat to take refuge in a corner if it wishes. Do not try to tempt it out as this could cause more stress.
Make sure your cat is microchipped to ensure it can be returned to you if it escapes and becomes lost.
Just remember there are some sickoes out there who think blowing up a cat is fun!! Don’t take a chance – keep them safe at home.
Exercise your dog during the day.
Feed a good, nourishing meal, have ample water available – a tired and well fed dog will be far less anxious during the night.
Never walk your dog while fireworks are being let off.
As with cats, keep your dog indoors, close the curtains and play music to drown out the noise.
Dog owners should stay home with their pet. Encourage calm behaviour. Do not soothe and comfort a scared dog, it will only increase the problem. Instead be cheerful and in control.
Let your dog hide if it wants to take refuge under furniture or in a corner.
If you cannot bring your pets inside, consider the garage, and try to block off any view of the fireworks.
If left alone make sure the room where they are confined to, is safe e.g. no sharp objects / poisons etc
Dogs that panic can choke themselves on a collar or lead, so never use a choker chain or slip collar to restrain your dog.
Having a microchip is the preferred option in case it bolts / becomes lost.)
Small animals – such as rabbits and guinea pigs – living outside should not be forgotten. They can also become very stressed from loud noise. Bring small animals indoors or into an outhouse or garden shed to give them extra protection.
Horses often bolt from firework noise and become injured. Always make sure horses, ponies and donkeys are stabled while fireworks are being let off. Make sure fireworks are not in view by closing the stable door. Even consider moving horses to different stables. If your pet suffers from an unmanageable phobia of fireworks, then it is at risk of injury when it panics.
To help keep your pet safe you should try to take the time to make an appointment with your vet well before the date of the fireworks display. Discuss the problem with your vet or an animal behaviourist, who may recommend behavioural therapy, and in some cases may prescribe some calming medication.
If your pet does go missing PLEASE go check for them at your local animal welfare facility which is filled to overflowing on the 6th of November. Chances are good that some kind person has picked them up if you are lucky. Put an ad in your local paper, notices up at all shops and vets and keep looking. About two yearsw back I picked up a chow that had been missing for 3 weeks after Guy Fawkes.