Your animals and fireworks

Photo: Cosmic Pets STAY CALM: Try not to fuss over your animals during a firework display. Stay composed and talk calmly to them, but show them that there is nothing to be frightened of.

Animals have the ability to distinguish a far wider range of frequencies than people and the sound from firecrackers is at least five times louder to them, so it’s only natural for pets to be afraid of unfamiliar and loud noises.

Fleeing is a survival instinct and fireworks can cause dogs to, in some cases, escape from your property, get lost, and even have a fatal accident on the road.

Stefanie Bosman, owner of Cosmic Pets is passionate about improving the quality of life of pets, and the humans who love them. She has a few suggestions on how to deal with your pets in case of fireworks.

Plan ahead

Your dog’s identification collars, tags and microchips should be updated as this will help the local authorities and Good Samaritans return your beloved companion if they escape.

If you know that your pooch will become stressed, consult your vet on calming supplements, sedatives or tranquilisers available.

Invest in pheromone diffusers or collars, which release calming chemicals, available through pet stores.

Rescue Remedy, an effective homeopathic solution, has a calming effect on pets and is recommended for both physical and emotional shock and is regularly prescribed by veterinarians.

12 Tips to keep dogs safe and secure

1. Stay home if you suspect fireworks will be used. Keep your pets inside, secure and supervised. Just having someone present while the fireworks are going off can have a calming effect on scared animals.

2. Try to mask the noise by closing windows, drawing curtains and playing calming music at a reasonable volume, to provide some noise distraction.

3. Put familiar, comforting things around your pets. Pet toys, dog beds or baskets are great and provide entertainment by giving your dog a chewy bone.

4. Don’t fuss over your pets during the fireworks. Stay composed and talk calmly to them, but show them that there is nothing to be frightened off.

5. Never punish your pets when they’re scared as this will only makes things worse in the long run.

6. A quiet place such as a travel kennel or carrier, may provide your pet with a sense of security and comfort.

7. Before the fireworks start, expend your dog’s excess energy by taking a very long walk to tire the animal and get it calm.

8. Keep dogs away from windows – frightened dogs can hurt themselves by jumping through glass.

9. A nutritious meal around nightfall is recommended, this will make them more likely to be sleepy.

10. If you must be outside with your dog, keep the pet on a leash or in a carrier at all times.

11. Practice fire safety. Keep pets away from matches, open fires, and fireworks – especially ones that are lit on the ground. Dogs may try to sniff, eat or fetch thrown fireworks, and pet hair can easily catch fire if too close to the fireworks.

12. If possible, make sure that your pets have time to relieve themselves. Some pets are too frightened to go outside once the fireworks start and this may lead to an “accident” later on.


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