With Guy Fawkes on the 5th of November, SPCA would like to remind pet owners that this time of the year can be highly distressing to animals.
Each year SPCA receives dozens of calls relating to fireworks, including: animal injuries, frightened animals, missing pets and, occasionally, abuse of animals.
People without pets must be aware of the stress their use of fireworks can cause others in their neighbourhood and act considerately.
While SPCA does not support the private sale and use of fireworks and has long called for a ban on the sale of fireworks to the public, those planning to set off fireworks in their homes should consider speaking to their neighbours, or leaving a note in their letterbox, so that those with pets and livestock can prepare accordingly.SPCA’s top tips for pet and livestock owners during Guy Fawkes
- Never let fireworks off close to animals.
- Stay home 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.
- Try a compression wrap for dogs, like a thunder shirt.
- 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 to reunite you with your pet.
- Try to behave in a calm and reassuring manner. Take special care of elderly or nervous pets, but try not to cuddle your pet too much as this may encourage anxious behaviour.
- 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 may need to be treated with medication. Speak with your vet for options before the fireworks start.