Six simple steps

to keep pets safe during Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes is coming… along with the bangs, whistles and shrieks of fireworks. Sure, it’s exciting for some, but terrifying for others, especially if they have no idea what’s going on – like animals.

This includes the more than 4.35 million pets who reside in New Zealand.

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. And the Tūpuna Maunga Authority dealt with Guy Fawkes fires on Te Pane o Mataaho/Māngere Mountain and Maungarei/Mt Wellington in 2019, so will close the mountains this year during Guy Fawkes.

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

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 provider PD Insurance surveyed over 1,000 pet parents in late September 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.

Fireworks can cause each of these situations.

Tips to protect your pet

PD Insurance suggests pet parents plan ahead for Guy Fawkes – and New Year’s Eve for that matter – 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. If they go missing, follow these tips on how to find a lost pet.
  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.

If your pet becomes injured during Guy Fawkes, or at any other time, PD Insurance’s pet insurance will help with the vet bills.

Media contact

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