Six ways to keep your pets safe this festive season


The festive season is synonymous with noisy celebrations accompanied by fireworks with loud bangs often used to announce the arrival of the New Year.  It’s no secret that fireworks can terrify animals leaving them in states of anxiety and fear. Allan Perrins of the Animal Welfare Society of SA suggests some tips to keep animals safe and calm during the festive celebrations.

1 Speak to your vet
If you know your pet will be very distressed, there are a number of off-the-shelf or prescribed calming remedies that one can give pets to help lessen the trauma – just speak to your local vet.

2 Keep them in a familiar secure room
Keep your pet in a safe and secured room for two reasons. Firstly, doing so will keep them from running away. Secondly, try select a room that will muffle the noise from outdoors and surround pets with familiar and comforting items. You can even turn on the television or play music to help drown out the noise.  Keep the curtains drawn to prevent animals from trying to escape through glass panes.

3 Distract them
Have a selection of healthy treats that you can keep on hand to use as a distraction while the fireworks display is going on.

4 Encourage hydration
Fear makes animals pant, and while they might want to hide and avoid the water bowl, make sure your frightened pet is staying hydrated and keep their food and water bowls nearby.

5 Don’t leave windows open
Even with secure screens, a cat or small dog may be able to escape in a panic. Animals have very sensitive hearing and noses and the burning scent of fireworks can be distressing, so rather keep the windows closed and if it is hot, put a fan on in the room.

6 Check name tags / discs and microchips
Make sure your pets have nametags with phone numbers and home addresses that are up to date, so that if they do happen to run away, someone can get them back to you. If your pets are micro-chipped, make sure that the information associated with the microchip is current.