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Tips on how to keep your pets safe during Guy Fawkes Day celebrations


Pet owners are encouraged to follow these recommendations to keep their pets safe.

Create a safe environment for your pets. Picture: Pexels

AS we are approaching the end of the year, there are many celebrations coming up, including Guy Fawkes Day on November 5.

While some of the celebrations involve a lot of fireworks, they can pose a threat to animals.

As such, animal welfare organisations, including the Animal Welfare Society of South Africa are reminding pet owners to take extra precautions to protect their beloved companions from the potential hazards of fireworks.

“Fireworks can cause significant distress and anxiety in pets, leading them to run away or even injure themselves,” says Allan Perrins, spokesperson for the Animal Welfare Society.

“We urge pet owners to be proactive in safeguarding their animals during Guy Fawkes celebrations.”

Pet owners are encouraged to follow these recommendations to keep their pets safe:

Secure indoor environment: Keep pets indoors in a secure and quiet room, preferably away from windows and doors. Close curtains and blinds to minimise visual stimuli.

Provide distractions: Offer toys, chews, or calming music to distract pets from the noise and provide comfort.

Consider calming aids: Consult a veterinarian about using calming vests or medication to alleviate anxiety in pets.

Ensure identification: Check that pets have up-to-date identification tags or microchips should they escape.

Early exercise and routine: Exercise dogs earlier in the day, before fireworks start, to reduce their energy levels and anxiety. Maintain regular feeding and walking schedules to provide a sense of normality.

Create a safe haven: Prepare a comfortable and secure space for pets, such as a crate or a quiet room with their favourite bedding and toys.

Stay calm and reassuring: Project a calm and reassuring demeanour around your pet. Your anxiety can transfer to them, exacerbating their fear.

Although fireworks may be fun to watch, they have some negative impacts, including environmental pollution, wildlife disturbance, fire hazards and noise pollution.

Environmental pollution: Fireworks release harmful pollutants into the air, including particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, and heavy metals. These pollutants can contribute to respiratory problems, exacerbate existing health conditions, and affect air quality.

Wildlife disturbance: The loud noises and bright flashes from fireworks can disrupt wildlife habitats, causing stress and disorientation in animals. This can lead to nest abandonment, increased risk of predation, and interference with migratory patterns.

Fire hazards: Fireworks pose a significant fire risk, especially during dry seasons. Mishandling of or improper disposal of fireworks can ignite fires, causing property damage, injuries, and loss of life.

Noise pollution: The loud explosions from fireworks affect not only pets but also humans, particularly those sensitive to noise. This can lead to sleep disturbances, anxiety, and stress-related health issues.

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