Along with warm summer nights come campfires, barbecues and fireworks. With the Celebration of Light fireworks show series starting in Vancouver this Saturday, the BC SPCA is reminding pet guardians throughout B.C. that while the pyrotechnic productions and accompanying sonic booms of the mid-air explosions may be exciting for humans, fireworks shows are not so enjoyable for our furry friends.
The BC SPCA strongly recommends that pet guardians plan for the safety of their furry family members during any fireworks festivities.
“The roaring explosions and bright lights of fireworks can be upsetting to your pet and even lead to harm. Fireworks can cause animals to panic, putting both pets and people in danger,” says Lorie Chortyk, BC SPCA general manager of community relations. “When dogs and cats are frightened, they’re more likely to run away from their homes, jump out open windows or dart into traffic. Stressed or scared pets can also behave out of character, even scratching or biting people,” she notes.
Tips to keep your pets safe during fireworks displays include:
- Keep pets inside
An indoor pet is a happy pet on fireworks night. To help muffle the noise and prevent animals from escaping, remember to close the windows of your home and draw the curtains. Some pets do well left in a separate room with the radio or television on to mask the sound of fireworks. Be sure to leave plenty of toys in the room for your pet so that he doesn’t think he’s being isolated as a punishment.
Make sure your pet is wearing identification, especially if they don’t have permanent ID, like a microchip or a tattoo. Dogs and cats may try to run away if they feel threatened. Clear, current identification is your best chance to have them returned to you.
- Don’t console your anxious pet
While it is natural to want to comfort your pet, it is better to use a bright, cheerful voice to send a message that things are fine. Avoid saying things like, “it’s OK” or “don’t be scared” in a soft or sympathetic voice. This only reinforces your pet’s fearful behaviour.
- Leave home without them
While you may think it would be fun to bring your dog to the festivities, he or she may not share your view. The strange sights, sounds, and crowds can cause a normally friendly dog to bite if it feels scared or threatened. A quiet night at home with their favourite toys and treats would probably suit them much better.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.