Fireworks are an explosion of fear for animals
Animal Welfare League Queensland is urging pet owners to prepare their furry family members as New Year celebrations near.
Many people enjoy the booming sounds and flashing colours of fireworks. Still, they can be terrifying, overwhelming and hazardous for animals. Pets are at higher risk of becoming lost during a fireworks display, with pounds and shelters often reporting an increase in runaway cats and dogs after a fireworks display.
Many animals become so frightened by the noise and commotion of fireworks that they run from otherwise familiar environments and people and sadly become lost.
The sudden loud noises associated with fireworks are one of the most prevalent phobias in animals. It results in many digging under or jumping over fences to escape from their properties and get away from the noise. Unfortunately, this then puts them at risk of injuring themselves.
The bright flashes and sounds can also cause wild animals to run into roadways, resulting in more car accidents than normal.
While there is no magic solution to prevent animals from becoming distressed during fireworks, there are several things you can do to calm and protect your pets.
- Bring pets indoors during fireworks, ensuring all doors and windows are closed – this will also help reduce the noise and stress. Turn on music or the TV to drown out louder sounds, and make sure your pet is comfortable.
- If your pet gets particularly frightened by fireworks and loud noises – consult your vet for further advice and medication options. Some medications and techniques might help alleviate your pet’s fear and anxiety.
- If you are not able to be home – ask a neighbour or family member to take care of your pet in the event you are unable to do so.
- Ensure all pets have identification – ensure your pet’s microchip details are up-to-date and they are wearing a collar and identification tag. If you aren’t sure which company your pet’s microchip is registered with, visit www.petaddress.com.au to search for your pet’s microchip.
- Visit www.rshq.qld.gov.au to see if any displays are scheduled near you. This list contains the information provided to the Explosives Inspectorate through notifications and is updated regularly.
Losing a pet is a very distressing time for owners. If your pet goes missing, check your neighbourhood, as someone may have found your pet and is keeping them safe. Also, contact your local Council, animal shelters and vet clinics. It is also a good idea to list your pet missing on social media lost and found pages.
“Lost cats and dogs behave differently depending on whether they are shy or confident, kept indoors or used to being outside, and many other factors.
AWLQ has developed a variety of resources to assist you during this time – visit www.awlqld.com.au. These provide the essential steps to help you find your lost cat or dog and to help you find the owners of lost pets. But, most importantly, don’t give up – animals are often found weeks or months after they go missing.