With Guy Fawkes just around the corner, pet owners across the country are gearing up to help their pets get through the stress that firework filled celebrations often bring.
Understand that the firework explosion that you hear is far more distressing to an animal. Fireworks emit sounds of up to 190 decibels (a full 110 to 115 decibels higher than the point at which damage to the human ear begins) and can damage the animal’s far more acute sense of hearing. They generate a noise level higher than the noise from gunshots (140 decibels) and low-level flying jets (100 decibels).
In an effort to keep pets safe and comfortable, here is an action plan with some ideas for you to use.
Plan your schedule around the celebrations so that you can ensure you are home with your pets from the early evenings onwards.
Take special measures to make this time easier on your pets:
Keep them securely indoors, with sufficient food and water. Try feeding them before the fireworks start. A full belly can help them relax and stay calmer.
Stay with them, providing comfort and love and, if they’re up to it, try playing games with them to make it a more positive experience
Play soothing music to try and drown out the frightening noises outside
If needed, give calming aids such as our K9 Anxiety
Prepare a ‘safe space’ for your pet, where they can retreat to should the stress prove to be too much for them – they will choose the spot, often in small nook – watch where they retreat to when feeling stressed, and prepare a comfortable bed for them with access to water
Remember that a traumatised animal is unpredictable, so source the help of a professional should you wish to aid an animal in distress
If you cannot remain at home during this time, be aware that the number of stray animals tends to increase over this period, largely due to runaways trying to escape the noise that causes fear, anxiety, panic and confusion. These escape attempts can often lead to injury, so try and ensure that they are kept in a safe space, limiting injury causing elements in the space.
Educate yourself on the overall impact of fireworks and consider this before partaking in the celebrations yourself. The negative impact of fireworks on the planet is massive – aside from causing huge emotional distress to all wildlife, not just our pets, they also produce light, noise and air pollution, while their often discarded remains contribute to an already serious litter problem.
In the unfortunate event of your pet going missing, be ready with an action plan to find them – let neighbours know, call all nearby vets in case someone has dropped your pet there, and if not ask your local council and SPCA. All pets should be chipped and having a tag with your contact number on during these higher risk periods can make reuniting you with your pet a lot easier.
Be prepared for fireworks to be let off any night over the next month or so. Not everyone is considerate enough to let them off when pet owners are expecting it and are prepared.
- Stay safe and keep your pets safe. It is up to you as they don’t understand what is happening.