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Safety Tips for Pets this Fireworks Season

Getting ready to ring in the New Year? As many Australians prepare to celebrate 2020, Pet Insurance Australia offers a timely reminder of the typical issues that cause pet's illness and sickness over this time.

“As another year comes to a close, many Australians will be preparing to celebrate with friends and family,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “But during this time, it is vitally important that people take a few easy steps to ensure the safety and mental wellbeing of their pets.”

Many pets are simply terrified of fireworks. With many displays expected across the country, for those owners, it’s important to be prepared.

“Thunderstorm and firework fear is a real problem for some pet homes,” Crighton says. “It can literally leave dogs shaking so fiercely that their teeth will uncontrollably chatter, and cause them to shake, cry and pace whilst cats may run and hide.”

The loud and sudden booming and bangs of fireworks can trigger the flight or fight reaction in your pet. Some dogs may bark uncontrollably, while others may display a fear base response, of hiding and crying.

Pets who are left outside alone may attempt to ‘escape’ this fear, leaving many pets unaccounted for and wandering the streets.

Safety Tips for New Year's Eve Fireworks

There are some steps you can do to help your pet during firework season:

1. Make a safe room that contains lots of hidey-holes, music to drown out the sounds or a TV turned up. Comforting smells, such as clothes that smell like you. Make sure this room is secure and contains plenty of water.

2. Shut doors, windows and curtains.

3. Keep your cat inside for the night. Pop them in a safe room with food, a litter tray and plenty of water. Alongside their bedding. Consider adding some good places to hide that are warm and comforting.

4. If you are going out for the night and you live particularly close to firework displays, consider asking a friend or relative to watch your pet in an area that is a little less disruptive.

5. If you are at home during the fireworks – keep your pet inside at all times, and when you expect a big bang, use distraction e.g. treats, pats and games.

6. If your pet is known for showing extreme signs of distress, speak to your vet about possible medication for this night.

7. Make sure your gates are secure and your pet’s microchip and registrations are up-to-date, and they are wearing this information on their collars.

“Many pets do go missing during firework displays,” Crighton warns. “Just making sure your gates are securely locked, and if entertaining; put up signs reminding guests to shut gates.”

The other culprit around this time of year is ingestion.

“Just like at Christmas or any other celebration with friends, ensure you keep bin lids securely closed and get rid of the main culprits being corn cobs and skewers,” Crighton says. “These cause a massive amount of concern for pets during this season as does alcohol.”

PIA suggests also reminding guests NOT to feed your pet, and if you cannot actively supervise your beloved pet during a party situation, to pop them into a special room.

“Some simple steps can really help you protect your pet, and ensure you spend your New Year with your friends and family, and not at a veterinary emergency hospital!”

MEDIA RELEASE, 23 December 2019

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