Fireworks are illegal in Ireland but using Fireworks for celebrations is becoming common place. Here are some tips you can do for your pets on nights like New Year's Eve, Halloween, St Patrick's Day, etc.
Don't keep pets outdoors when Fireworks are going off and ensure that they have a safe, quiet place inside where they aren't frightened by all of the noise and where they cannot escape through the constantly open door. For everyone's safety, it's best to keep animals inside a bedroom or family room, away from all the commotion. Try and make sure that the pet isn’t left alone if its distressed but if your pet looks for reassurance due to being scared of loud noises, please don’t do this! I know it goes against our humane nature, but it’s best to carry on in a matter of fact manner, as if nothing is out of the ordinary, as your pet may feed off your anxiety, making the situation worse.
If your pet gets very scared from fireworks talk to your vet as there is a variety of treatments and medications that can help. Don't wait until the fireworks are going off to talk to your vet as some products need time to work, ie they take a week for the pet to feel the effects. A new product on the market for anxiety and sound phobias is the Thundershirt. These shirts exert constant, gentle pressure on the dog, causing relaxation. You can also buy cd's to help your pet get used to loud noises like fireworks but these need to be used prior to any fireworks going off.
Do make sure that rabbits and other caged animals are safely secured in a garage or outbuilding, away from the sight and sound of fireworks. As an alternative, the cage can be covered with thick fabric to muffle the sound, making sure there is sufficient ventilation. Horses should be securely stabled or moved to a different location during fireworks displays in the area.
Do ensure that pets always have effective identification. The DSPCA recommends that you have your pet microchipped and ensure that it is wearing a collar with identification in the event that it escapes from the house. Every year we get calls and visits from upset owners with lost pet information as their pets have run off after being scared by fireworks. The DSPCA will Microchip your pet for you or any vet practice can arrange this quickly and easily. You can read more on what to do if your pet goes missing here.
Don't ignore animals in need. Report animal abuse and neglect immediately to An Gardai Siochana or contact the DSPCA at 01-499 4700.