Guy Fawkes can certainly be an enjoyable event, however this time of year can also be a very traumatic time for our pets, there’s no doubt about that.
Fireworks can cause anxiety and stress in our animals, as well as be the cause of horrific injuries to not just pets, but all wildlife and stock. Pets can become so distressed that in some cases they may not come home, run away, go missing, injure themselves, or becoming susceptible to traffic accidents.
Animals are more sensitive to loud noises than we humans are and as you can’t explain to your pet what is going on, it makes the situation even more stressful for both you and your frightened friend.
At our clinics, we receive a lot of enquiries at this time of year from owners worried about how to help their pets cope with Guy Fawkes.
Here are some helpful tips to get you both through:
- Reduce the amount of fireworks noise your pet can hear and see by closing windows and doors. Turn the TV or radio up louder to counteract the noise.
- Keep your pets inside while the celebration is happening.
- If your pet reacts to the lights or sounds, stay calm. Don’t react by reassuring your pet, this only encourages the animal to continue this behaviour each time it hears or sees fireworks. If you don’t react, your pet is unlikely to react either.
- Distract your dog with an inside game, a great game is hide and seek with treats – this is a good way to turn an unpleasant situation into a positive one.
- If your pet does become frightened, give them somewhere to hide till it is all over. Under the bed in the bedroom is always a safe haven. Leave them there until they come out on their own.
- Reduce their anxiety. Reducing your pets’ anxiety is not always so easily done. However, there are some great products that can help you achieve this. Call us if you would liek to know more about these products.
NZVA advises to go to public displays instead
The New Zealand Veterinary Association is urging people to attend public displays of fireworks, rather than buying from shops.
“We encourage people to view a public fireworks display, instead of buying fireworks for private use. Fewer fireworks may reduce the negative impact on animals,” says Helen Beattie, the New Zealand Veterinary Association’s Chief Veterinary Officer.
“The NZVA supports a ban on the private sale of fireworks, because we believe a ban will improve the welfare of animals who find fireworks stressful. We also encourage people to continue to speak up on this issue – and speak loudly for the animals, since they can’t speak for themselves,” she adds.
If you have any concerns or would like to talk to our staff about Guy Fawkes, feel free to call us on 0800 838 7267.