Ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations, the RSPCA are reminding pet owners to plan ahead and keep their animals calm during fireworks displays.
RSPCA’s Lorraine Hamilton, said it is mostly dogs who are affected by loud noises, often escaping from yards when spooked by fireworks.
“I couldn’t tell you over the years, how many dogs I have handed back to people in body bags after New Years Eve,” she said.
“Because dogs get frightened, they get this shot of adrenaline.
“This gives them speed and strength so they will go over fences they wouldn’t normally look at.
“They can then get hit by cars or they can cause car accidents.”
Ms Hamilton said it was important to leave a dog in a secure environment when left alone, with music or television offering a good distraction.
The RSPCA advises pet owners to make sure their dog or cat is microchipped and wearing an ID tag, in case they become lost.
Tips from the RPSCA:
- Make sure your dog or cat is microchipped and wearing an ID tag with your phone number on it, in case they become lost.
- If you know your dog is likely to become distressed, stay at home with them, if possible. If you can’t be home, consider getting someone you trust to look after them.
- Making sure your dog has had plenty of exercise and has been fed will help to settle them.
- Create a comfortable hiding place for your pet, so they can feel safe and secure.
- Keep your dog and cat indoors when fireworks are expected, they will be a lot safer and feel more secure.
- Smaller pets such as rabbits should be safely locked away in their house and kept in a secure spot inside until the fireworks are finished.
- Reward and distract your pet with treats or toys. Putting music or the TV on can also help to mask the noises outside.
- Don’t tie your dog up, as they can strangle themselves if they get spooked and try to escape.
- Horses get particularly worried about fireworks and should be securely stabled and kept away from any objects they might hurt themselves on.
- If you’re worried about your pet, or you know they have a noise phobia, always speak with your vet for advice on ways to help keep them calm.