Help your pet to cope with fireworks this year.
Help your pet to cope with fireworks this year. Thinkstock

Big bangs not so fun for four-legged pals

WITH fireworks set to welcome in the new year across the country, spare a thought for our four legged friends, as many find the experience terrifying and stressful.

Dog Matters dog trainer Tenille Williams said ensuring your pets were secure and providing a safe retreat was essential to managing the effects of noise phobia.

"Huge numbers of dogs and cats go missing during fireworks," she said.

"Owners have to remember that their pet's hearing is a lot more sensitive."

Mrs Williams said a secure retreat indoors or even in the garage, with the windows, doors and curtains closed was the best option.

"Pets are a lot more determined when they are scared and will try to get out of backyards in ways they usually wouldn't," she said.

Mrs Williams said dog owners should never tie their animals up or use a choker chain as it put the distresses pets at risk of choking themselves and she said if pet owners were aware loud noises terrified their pets, they could consider a number of treatment options available from their vet to keep them calm.

East Bundaberg Veterinary Hospital vet Sheridan Manion said keeping pets distracted or feeding them treats was also an option.

"Assure them that everything is OK," she said.

"If they have a bed or kennel make sure they can access it so they can go where they feel safe."

Top tips

  • Attempt to engage, distract and reassure your pet that everything is OK, but don't "force" this if it becomes particularly distressed.
  • Provide access to a safe area where your pet may feel more at ease. Allow it to go where it wants to feel safe.
  • Close bird cages, rabbit hutches and other fixed enclosures and ensure the pet door and windows are closed and locked.
  • Make sure that your boundary fences and gates are secure and that your pet cannot readily escape through them or over them.
  • Turn on the TV or radio to muffle the sound.
  • Act normally around your pet to assure them nothing out of the ordinary is occurring.
  • If you know that your pet is extremely fearful of loud noises, consult your vet to see if he or she can prescribe medication that will calm it in known times of stress.
  • Ensure that your pet wears identification, particularly a microchip. In the unfortunate event that your pet should escape from your property a microchip gives you the greatest chance that you and your pet will be reunited.
  • If your pet does escape, check the council pound website at www.bundaberg.qld.gov.au to see if your animal has been picked up.


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