The long weekend is nearly here! We couldn’t be more excited, and neither could our pets. Whatever you’re planning for the weekend, it’s likely you’ll run into fireworks at some point. Here are some tips to help you plan to protect your pets!
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Firework safety and pets
Fireworks can be lots of fun, but pet owners should be aware fireworks are a completely foreign experience for pets. Fireworks come without warning and can be very frightening.
Even if you live far from any public firework displays, be prepared for private fireworks close to home. Before any fireworks start, follow these simple tips to keep your pet calm and safe.
Small animals (e.g., hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, mice and birds) tend to frighten easily around loud noises. Here are some steps you can take to help them feel more at ease:
- If you’re concerned about noise, you can move your pet’s cage or hutch to an area of the house that’s quieter (e.g., the garage or basement).
- Rodents tend to burrow when they’re frightened, so make sure you provide extra bedding.
- Cover your birdcage or hutch with a blanket or towel. This will dampen the noise and block out some of the bright lights.
Dogs and cats
Keep your pet indoors during firework displays, making sure to close windows and pet doors leading outside. Startled pets will seek a place to hide. This means if your cat or dog manages to get outside, it can be very easy to lose your pet. Being inside the house will also help dampen any loud noises.
Make sure your pet is wearing its collar and ID tags (or better yet, make sure your pet is microchipped). In case your pet gets out, this will ensure you can find them again.
- Walk your dog before it gets dark to avoid going outside once the fireworks start.
- Have a safe place for your pet to feel at ease, like a crate or other den-like enclosure.
- You can block out some of the flashing lights by keeping curtains closed and by placing a blanket over your pet crate.
- Your pet may pace around, make noise or search for a place to hide. Let your pet be—trying to coddle or comfort your pet will indicate that something is wrong and add to your pet’s anxiety. By staying calm and relaxed, you’ll help reassure your pet that there’s no real danger.
- If you know that your pet is frightened by fireworks, try to have someone at home to stay with your pet.
- Even if your pet doesn’t show signs of distress around fireworks, resist the urge to bring your cat or dog with you to watch a fireworks display. Pets are far more sensitive to the sounds and smells produced by fireworks and would be much happier having a quiet night in.
For additional tips on how to keep your pet calm during firework celebrations during the long weekend, talk to your vet or a certified behavioural expert.