Don't scare your dogs tonight.
Don't scare your dogs tonight.

RSPCA's stern warning for pet owners this New Year's Eve

FIREWORKS may be fun for humans but every year they create havoc amongst the animal population.

RSPCA Queensland is once again warning pet owners to take special precautions to ensure their pets are safe and secure during New Year's Eve celebrations. 

Spokesman Michael Beatty said it was likely many animals would end up at shelters or council pounds overnight after running scared from the sound of fireworks.

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"The sad part is that it's easily preventable. Despite the warnings many people still don't seem to understand the devastating effect fireworks can have on some animal," he said. 

"Often they will panic and end up on the road where of course they run the risk of being hit by cars. Sometimes they're found kilometres from their homes."

"All pet owners are advised to make certain that their pets are in a secure environment and one that they feel comfortable with. Ideally they should be kept inside the house and if this is not possible then inside the garage or somewhere where they feel at ease and know well.

"We also urge people to make certain their pets have up to date identification on them.

"It's very hard to reunite pets with their owners if they don't have identification that includes the owners' telephone numbers. Ideally they should also be micro-chipped.

"We also recommend that horses should be securely stabled or removed to a location away from the fireworks."

Fireworks can scare animals.
Fireworks can scare animals. Kevin Farmer

Here are some extra tips to make sure this year is incident free for animals.

  • Talk to your vet about options to manage noise phobias.
  • If you have a dog, take it for a walk in the afternoon, a few hours before dinner.
  • Try to engage your pets in normal activities such as playing, and reward your dog for calm behaviour.
  • Create a comfortable space for your pet with curtains closed, put on music to help mask the outside noise.
  • Never tether your dog during these times as they can injure themselves when fretting.
  • Make sure your dog or cat is microchipped.
  • Keep cats indoors, they will usually find their own place to hide and venture out when the noise stops.
  • Small animals should also be housed securely during fireworks.
  • Horses are particularly vulnerable to bolting when exposed to fireworks. If possible they should be securely stabled, or moved to a different location away from the fireworks display. 


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