Firework safety tips to keep pets safe

by | General Pet Care |

Everybody loves a long weekend – including our furry friends! It means more quality time with the people they love. But there are also some safety concerns to keep in mind so your furry friend can be comfortable and safe. Here are some firework safety tips to keep your animals safe this weekend! 

What’s the concern with fireworks? 

Fireworks can be lots of fun, but pet parents should be aware fireworks are a completely foreign experience for our furry friends. Fireworks come without warning and can be very frightening. The sounds, smells and sights can be easily overwhelming for our furry friends.  

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 companion animal calm and safe. 

Small pets 

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 animal’s cage or hutch to an area of the house that’s quieter (e.g., the garage or basement). 
  • You can play white noise or calming music to help counteract the noises. 
  • Rodents tend to burrow when they’re frightened, so make sure you provide extra bedding before any excitement starts. 
  • 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 furry friend indoors during firework displays, and make sure to close windows and pet doors leading outside. Startled animals will seek a place to hide. This means if your cat or dog manages to get outside, it can be very easy to lose them. Being inside the house will also help dampen any loud noises. 
  • Make sure your animal is wearing its collar and ID tags. Microchipping is also recommended. In case your furry friend does get out, these steps 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 companion animal to feel at ease, like a crate or other confinement space. 
  • You can block out some of the flashing lights by keeping curtains closed and lights on, or by placing a blanket over your animal’s crate. 
  • Your furry friend may pace around, make noise or search for a place to hide. Let them be. 
  • If you know that your companion animal is frightened by fireworks, try to have someone at home to stay with your pet. 
  • Even if your animal doesn’t show signs of distress around fireworks, resist the urge to bring your cat or dog with you to watch a fireworks display. Animals are far more sensitive to the sounds and smells produced by fireworks and would be much happier having a quiet night in. 
  • If your companion animal has a history of fear around loud noises or phobias with similar events speak to your veterinarian prior to any fireworks event. They may be able to help with medical intervention that can help keep your furry friends calm, and cool during all the excitement! 

For additional tips on how to keep your furry friend calm during firework celebrations during the Canada Day long weekend, talk to your veterinarian or a certified positive reinforcement-based behaviour expert.