While there are many public and private events throughout the year that include authorised fireworks displays, the loud noises and bright flashes of light can be very frightening to animals. Many animals can become highly distressed which can lead to them running away, going missing, injuring themselves, and becoming susceptible to traffic accidents.
Here’s some tips on how you can keep your pets safe.
Check your pet’s microchip, collar and ID tag details are up to date
Each year many pets are reported missing. Ensuring your pet’s details are up to date will help them get home if they do get scared and run from your property.
Feed your pets before the fireworks start
A full stomach should help your pet relax and make them sleepy.
Walk your dog early
Take the dog for a longer walk earlier in the day to avoid being out walking in the early evening or evening when the fireworks display is scheduled to be set-off. By walking your dog for longer than normal you are also helping to tire them out so they are more likely to rest and go to sleep early.
Keep your pets safe inside
No matter what type of pet you have, it’s best to keep them indoors on the night so they won’t see the flashes and the bangs will be muffled. Once you have your pet safely inside close the doors, windows and the curtains and turn up the volume on your radio or TV to disguise the sounds of the fireworks. Remember to keep the cat door locked for the night!
Provide a safe space
Creating a ‘den’ for dogs and providing enough hiding spaces for cats will help them retreat to this safe space and stay calm. If your pets want to hide, that’s ok – let them. Trying to get them to come out of hiding may stress them out more.
Have your pets favourite snuggle toy and bed ready for them
Providing your pets with these items will help them to feel comfortable. Avoid cuddling your dog when they are scared. We know it can be hard to resist giving cuddles for reassurance but try not to reward your dog for being afraid.
Keep your pets busy with fun distractions
A good way to help your pet relax is to offer them distractions to keep their mind off the fireworks such as enrichment or food-stuffed toys to give the dog something to focus on other than the noise. Slow feeding puzzles are also good as they help to make your pet work for their food keeping them busy and active.
Dates and locations of authorised and planned fireworks displays near you are published on the Queensland Government website here.