Protecting your pet

from fretting or worse during Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes is ahead of us this weekend, bringing with it fireworks bangs, whistles and shrieks. It’s exciting for us humans but intensely frightening for New Zealand’s 4+ million companion animals.

Many organisations have called for a ban on fireworks because it’s a much wider problem than just scaring domestic pets. For example, the Auckland Zoo finds it disrupts mating season and terrifies all the animals including the endangered species in their enclosures.

Until the Government formally addresses the issue, we all need to be alert and prepared.

Why does it scare animals so?

Did you know animals have higher hearing sensitivity so the exploding fireworks can reach the equivalent decibels of a jet engine for them? If you factor in sudden flashing lights, fires by rogue fireworks, wrongdoers tormenting animals with fireworks and extra traffic on the roads, there’s a higher risk that your pet may run away or become injured.

Pet insurance specialist PD Insurance historically surveyed more than 1,000 pet parents and discovered that:

  • 72% of respondents worry about their cat or dog getting hit by a vehicle.
  • 59% worry about their pet getting into a fight with other animals.
  • 49% worry about their pets escaping and becoming lost or hurt.
  • 16% worry about their pet accidentally hurting itself.

6 simple steps to protect your pet

Fireworks can unfortunately cause each of these situations. PD Insurance suggests pet parents plan ahead for Guy Fawkes with these six simple steps:

  1. If you plan on having fireworks post a notice in neighbourhood online groups so your neighbours are forewarned. Perhaps even distribute a leaflet into neighbourhood letterboxes.
  2. Create a safe pet space inside that’s dark, enclosed and filled with comforting things. Bring pets here, then close the doors and draw the blinds. Cover outdoor aviaries with a tarpaulin.
  3. Help your pet relax with distractions, treats or calming sprays/wraps. Your local pet store or vet can provide you with great options for your furry family member.
  4. Try to stay calm, even though it’s distressing to see your pet upset and scared. They take their cues from you so reassure them in a comforting manner that they are always safe with you.
  5. There’s always a risk your animal may bolt so ensure they’re micro chipped and tagged with your contact details. Take photos, especially of unique marks/fur patterns to help others identify them if needed later.
  6. Always keep your dog on a lead during this period, unless inside, and try to walk them in the morning of Guy Fawkes so they’re happy to bunker down later in the day.

Media contact 
Leandri Smith – The Mail Room 
027 365 9003 | [email protected]