GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - The Garden Route SPCA has issued a warning about the dangers fireworks and crackers pose to pets.
Both fireworks and crackers are illegal in the Garden Route District municipal area, unless special permission has been sought in writing from and granted by the municipality for a specific event.
Here are the SPCA’s tips for pet owners during festive periods:
- The golden rule is "say no" to fireworks.
- Never let fireworks off close to animals.
- Stay home with your pet. It will be less stressed with someone it trusts close by.
- Keep pets indoors. They won’t see the flashes and the bangs will be muffled. Close doors and windows and draw the curtains. Turn up the volume on your radio or TV to help drown out loud bangs with familiar sounds.
- Make sure that your cat or dog has somewhere comforting to hide such as a box, crate or somewhere they feel safe to retreat to.
- Try a compression wrap for dogs, like a "thunder shirt".
- Exercise your dog early in the day to avoid being out during dusk when fireworks could be set off.
- Both cats and dogs should be microchipped and have a collar and identification tag with your contact details on it. If your pet panics and runs away, they will help in reuniting you with your pet.
- Comfort your pet. This could mean cuddling them if it helps or giving them space, depending on what your pet needs. Try to behave in a calm and reassuring manner. Take special care of elderly or nervous pets.
- Never punish your pets when they are scared. This will only make their fear and stress levels worse.
- Don’t forget small pets like rabbits, guinea pigs or chickens. Have them tucked away or even inside for the night.
Make sure that your cat or dog has somewhere comforting to hide such as a box, crate or somewhere they feel safe to retreat to.
Keep in mind that for some animals, fireworks can cause real trauma and they should be treated with medication. Speak to your vet for options before the festive season starts.
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