Keeping Animals Safe During Fireworks
Our Expert Shares Information That Could Save Your Animal’s Life
Celebrations, such as Halloween, and fireworks go hand in hand, but for many animals, t he loud noises t hat accompany such displays are nothing to celebrate. Fireworks can be frightening for animals and many become injured trying to escape the terrifying sounds.
If you are lucky enough to live with a companion animal, you have a duty to ensure that they feel safe during fireworks displays. Here are some ways to make t hem feel safe and help t hem to feel comfortable:
Stay Home If this is the first time your dog ( or other pet) has experienced fireworks since coming into your care, or it t hey have displayed signs of distress around loud noises, just stay home. If t his is not an option, arrange for a pet sitter they trust to care for them for the night.
Secure Them Even if t hey have not been bothered by fireworks before, make sure t hey are in a safe and secure location, ideally indoors where t hey feel comfortable.
Never Tether A frightened animal can become entangled and severely injure themselves when restrained by a rope or chain. Choke ( or check) chains, prong collars, and devices such as e- collars or shock collars are especially dangerous and should be avoided at all times.
ID Tags Make sure t hey are wearing an identification tag t hat is clearly visible and legible with up to date contact details in case t hey happen to flee. Consider having your pet microchipped, t his is a safe way to ensure your animal friends can be returned home safely if t hey wander off.
Familiarize Them Work with t hem to show them they’ re safe. Expose them to audio recordings of fireworks before the real deal to teach them the noises are nothing to be afraid of. Let them know that you are not worried by talking in a normal tone and acting as you would normally act. Start t he audio at a low volume and take a break if t hey seem distressed.
Keep Your Cool If they are freaking out, remain calm and collected. If t hey see you acting anxious or scared, this will only upset them further. Offer your comfort and support. You cannot take away t heir fear but you can reinforce the fact that you’ re there for them when they’ re scared.
There are other options for animals who have trouble getting over t heir fear of fireworks. Some pets respond well to “t hundershirts,” which work similarly to swaddles used for human babies. There are also medications that can assist them in dealing with t heir heightened emotions during frightening events. If you have tried everything to help your furry family member cope and t hey still seem distressed by fireworks or other loud noises, talk to a veterinarian who can help with positive behavioral training. Fireworks don’t have to be scary, especially when your animal friends have an awesome human on t heir side!