Understanding pet safety and fireworks, then ensuring we get it right, is near the top of our to do list this festive season. While we hunker down to plan a holiday itinerary for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, let’s do the same around fireworks safety. Because fireworks equal loud bangs and sad/scared woofs and meows.
If you want your fur baby to enjoy the holidays as much as you, it’s a great idea to paws for thought and plan ahead.
Read on for more…
Pet safety and fireworks is possible…if you plan ahead
While getting excited about the fun times ahead, give yourself time to evaluate and plan. Think about the facts and consider what choices you can make upfront to save your pet (and you) gnarly consequences later.
First things first. Pets’ hearing can be several times stronger than ours. So, an exploding firecracker can sound like a jet engine to our fur baby… Eek. Air travel without a permit!
Here is our checklist for planning ahead:
Vets, councils and rescue centres receive an influx of lost pets over the festive season. This applies to cats and dogs who sometimes bolt in times of fright, as well as other animals like guinea pigs and birds.
Even German Shepherds – who are famed for their aptitude as police dogs – have been known to run away. They will go to extreme measures and have been known to dislocate a hip (temporarily) to escape through narrow rungs of a gate during holiday fireworks.
Escape artist Harry Houdini would be impressed.
Microchipping your pet is a clever move to make right from the beginning. That way there’s a way lower risk of agonising over where Bella is or what might have happened to Charlie. If your lost pet has a microchip, you have a much greater chance of quickly being reunited.
If you’re not planning to go the microchip way, make sure your fur baby has a tag or some form of identification. When a good Samaritan finds a lost pet, they need to know who to contact right away.
The RSPCA already care for around 120 000 animals each year. Let’s crunch those numbers by helping concerned citizens to quickly and smoothly locate you as a pet owner. Read more on how to find a lost pet.
The pheromone diffuser mimics the smell of a pet’s biological mum and can have a calming effect. Using one in a central location at home can be a great way to encourage your furry loved one to stay put during fireworks even if you’re out and about.
They can help your pet deal with noise phobias, separation anxiety and travel, among other stressful situations.
Like people, pets have predispositions, natural tendencies, and preferences. So, try out diffusers in advance to check the efficacy for your paw pal.
If you already know your pet is highly anxious, seek advice from a vet who can prescribe products to counter these reactions and imbue a feeling of calm.
Animals who experience separation anxiety as pets are also more likely to react more adversely to loud fireworks.
Potential damage if pet safety and fireworks is ignored
Our pets face dangers before, during and after fireworks are lit. And it’s not just them who can feel the pang. It isn’t just the obvious, immediate concerns around pet safety and fireworks that you have to consider.
During a firework frenzy, meowers and woofers can get up to all kinds of out-of-character nonsense. Think eating the double-down feather duvets at a holiday guest house where you’re staying. And what do you do if (horror) your fur baby bites a guest in their panic?
Luckily, all our pet insurance plans have you safeguarded with third-party liability. So, if anything like this happens, we’ve got you covered.
Christmas and New Year’s Eve – what to do on the day
Pet safety and fireworks together may sound like an anomaly, but it’s well within reach.
Cats and dogs are highly sensitive to your mood. If you formulate a well-devised plan and set things in place, you’ll brim with confidence.
Naturally, this will rub off on your pet.
With pet safety and fireworks on the day, here’s our guide:
- Exercise your pet – besides being stimulating, the pheromones released through exercising get rid of excess energy and have a calming effect after the fact. If you have a dog breed that requires more exercise and longer walks, read our DIY dog walking kit.
- Exercise early – timing is everything, so try for a morning walk. This way you’ll be back at home hopefully long before the crackers start. And bear in mind that Christmas and New Year’s Eve fireworks often go bang well before dusk.
- Bring your pets indoors – the more protected they are from the noise the safer they will be. Fireworks don’t just scare pets; the volume of the explosions can be painful too.
- Prepare a safe space – draw the curtains, close the blinds. Prepare a toy and any extras such as one of your blankets with familiar comforting smells.
- Stay together – if you can, be with your pet. Solidarity is priceless. Act natural. This will give them a cue that the danger is less real than it seems. If they try to hide, let them (inside the house, obviously!). It’s super important they can follow this instinct without being instructed otherwise.
- Put gentle music on – especially familiar music. The radio or tv can work too. For dogs, there is even a dog tv channel tail-ored for pups. Amazon Prime has a channel for cats too. The sound can help to offset the noise of big bangs outside.
Your pet’s safety after the fireworks have finished
According to our latest research, one of Australian pet parents’ worst fears is their pet eating something they shouldn’t and getting sick.
Christmas crackers, party poppers and fireworks tend to leave behind unwanted debris. And pets eat lots of weird stuff (we love you Bear Grylls, but we don’t want our pets to eat like you ????).
There’s also the real danger of a pet eating a discarded firework which still contains explosives and/or toxic substances. If this happens your pet will need to see a vet right away.
Our dog insurance and cat insurance covers accidents, non-routine vet visits and a range of treatments. We’ve written an article for you on pet plan shopping to help make the decision making process clearer – why not make this your next read?
Approximately 61% of Australian households have pets. That’s a lot of pet parents’ know-how! Share your top tips on pet safety and fireworks with others via our Facebook page, to help make the holiday season a happy one for everyone.
But first… Take two minutes to get a simple, free pet insurance quote.