Keeping Your Pets Safe on Guy Fawkes


Spare a thought for your pets this Guy Fawkes. Your pet can be seriously distressed by the loud noises and bright flashes of fireworks. Below are a set of tips to help you keep your pet safe and calm during the process. 

Preparing pets for fireworks, or even thunderstorms:

  • Make sure dogs get plenty of exercise earlier in the day. Try a light jog or brisk walk, play a game of Frisbee or fetch. 
  • Keep pets indoors when thunderstorms or fireworks are expected, preferably with human companionship.
  • Close all windows, curtains and doors where possible to block out flashing lights and sounds.
  • Provide toys, treats and other distractions to keep pets occupied. A frozen treat like a chicken stock popsicle is advised.
  • Try to stay at home with your pet if fireworks or thunderstorms are expected.
  • Make sure your pet is micro-chipped or appropriately tagged for easy identification if they become lost.
  • Speak to a vet about supplements and medication for managing anxiety caused by loud noises.

How to keep an anxious or scared pet calm:

  • Turn on music or the television to muffle the sound but nothing too loud. 
  • Don’t fuss over or punish pets if they become agitated with the sounds; doing so only makes the behaviour worse.
  • Act as if all is normal and ignore the fearful behaviour, unless it is hazardous to the animal.
  • Provide a secure place, preferably indoors, so that the pet can’t escape your property if it is startled by loud noises.
  • Allow the pet to hide in a safe place if they choose, such as a blanket lined cupboard. 
  • If pets runs to hide in a corner or under the bed, don’t try to coax them out, let them be where it feels safe.
  • Owners should ensure that they are calm and stress-free so that their pets’ fear doesn’t mirror theirs.

Harming an animal with fireworks is a criminal offence. Concerned members of the public are urged to report any acts of alleged cruelty to the JSPCA’s 24-hour control centre on 083 604 1172 or 011 681 3600. They can also contact their local police to lodge complaints regarding the illegal use of fireworks.

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