Pets and Fireworks

There are several celebrations across Australia that may include fireworks. While most of us enjoy these celebrations and the fireworks, many animals are terrified by fireworks, causing them to take flight and try to escape the loud noises.

Dogs and horses in particular often try to run away when frightened by fireworks, and may injure themselves. Many of these animals can end up far from home, and too many are never returned to their loving families. It is our responsibility to ensure our pets are safe and secured, especially on nights we know will include fireworks.

Remember animals, especially dogs have a way of escaping by jumping over, or digging their way under fences, or climbing things that would normally contain them.

Tips to help with your pets:

  • Provide hiding places in your home
  • Cats can become more stressed if they’re outside during fireworks
  • Don’t try and tempt your cat out as this will cause them to become more stressed
  • Make sure your cat is always kept in a safe and secure environment and can’t escape if there’s a sudden noise.
  • Have your pets microchipped in case they do escape – by law, your cat should be microchipped and registered with Council
  • Walk them during daylight hours before fireworks
  • Close windows and curtains to muffle the sounds
  • Put on music or the tv to mask the sounds. Ignore the firework noises yourself.
  • Create a quiet space (play area) where your dog can feel in control and some hiding places around your home
  • Each evening before the fireworks begin, move your dog to the play area and provide toys and other things that they enjoy. Make sure that there are things for you to do too so that your dog isn’t left alone.
  • Make sure your dog is always kept in a safe and secure environment and can’t escape if there’s a sudden noise.
  • Have your pets microchipped in case they do escape – by law, your dog should already be microchipped.
  • Check locally to see if there are going to be firework displays in your area.
  • Where possible – tell the organisers of firework displays that horses are nearby and ask them to set off their fireworks in the opposite direction.
  • Keep to your horse’s normal routine as much as possible.
  • Check for anything they could hurt themselves on if panicked, making sure fences and gates are all secure.
  • Stay with your horse if possible—but remember your own safety—a panicked horse can be dangerous.
  • After the event keep an eye on your horse for stress related issues or injuries.
Small animals:
  • Bring your small pets indoors if possible.
  • If you cannot bring pets indoors then cover enclosures with blankets or towels so that your pet has a dark safe place to hide away from loud noises and flashing lights.

Please consider your pets comfort on our New Years Celebrations

Native wildlife:

Wildlife are also affected by the noises and bright lights of fireworks. Wild birds, bats and flying foxes will take flight due to fear and panic, and may sustain injuries as a result of colliding with tree branches, fences, and even buildings. Larger animals like kangaroos, wallabies and wombats will try to outrun the noise, and end up on roads, and places they shouldn’t be, which may result in them being injured or killed. Contact your local wildlife carer organisation if you have any concerns about risks to local wildlife.