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.
For more information on this topic, click this link.
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.