With the Civic holiday weekend approaching, the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society is reminding pet families that fireworks can be frightening to animals and to take precautions to keep pets safe. Unexpected loud noises and flashing lights can make our furry companions feel anxious, even cause them to flee and become lost.
Here are some top tips for pet parents to keep animals calm and safe if there are fireworks taking place in your neighbourhood:
- Keep animals indoors during firework displays, making sure to close windows and doors. Startled animals may seek a place to hide and if they manage to get outside, it can be easy to lose them. If you need to take your dog outside, keep them leashed at all times to prevent them from bolting and becoming lost.
- Ensure your pet wears a properly fitted collar and ID tags. Microchipping is also encouraged to help increase the chances of being reunited with your pets if they become lost.
- Walk your dog before it gets dark to avoid going outside once the fireworks start.
- Have a safe place for your fur baby to feel at ease, like a crate or other den-like enclosure in a quiet area of your home.
- Block out flashing lights by keeping curtains and blinds closed or by placing a blanket over your animal’s crate.
- Turn on the TV or play quiet music to help drown out the noise.
- Stay calm! Animals may pace around, make noise, or search for a place to hide. Let them be – remaining calm will help reassure that there’s no danger.
- Even if your dog doesn’t show signs of distress, resist the urge to bring them with you to watch a fireworks display. Dogs are far more sensitive to the sounds and smells produced by fireworks than we are and would be happier in the quiet of their home.
“It’s important to keep in mind, fireworks are a completely foreign experience for animals. Fireworks come without warning and can be very scary as a result,” says Carol Link, Manager, Ontario SPCA Stormont Dundas & Glengarry Animal Centre. “You can’t control how your neighbours choose to celebrate their holiday, but you can take steps to help ease your animal’s anxiety and ensure they have a safe and relaxing holiday, too.”
For more ways to keep animals calm and safe during fireworks celebrations, visit ontariospca.ca