Guy Fawkes: fun for you; dangerous for your dog

Guy Fawkes can be fun with all the spectacular fireworks, but your dogs, cats and other pets may be scared or injured. After all, these are explosive devices, and in the wrong hands can do a lot of damage.

Fireworks over Wellington Harbour.

Fireworks over Wellington Harbour.

The following is taken from the 31 October 2012 Wellington SPCA E-news that arrived by email.

Wellington SPCA Animal Welfare Inspectors typically receive calls over the Guy Fawkes period in relation to fireworks and animals, particularly frightened animals, missing pets and animal injuries.

Wellington SPCA CEO Iain Torrance says that the public has the right to ensure the festivities over this period, as long as they understand the potential effects that fireworks can have on an animal.

Animals are extremely sensitive to the loud bangs and sudden flashes of fireworks, and this can be a highly distressing time for them.

We ask all pet owners to ensure their pet is kept securely indoors during the celebrations, and that steps are taken to keep them calm and comfortable.

Wellington SPCA recommends the following steps to keep animals calm and secure over the Guy Fawkes period:

  1. Never under any circumstances let fireworks off close to animals, as this will cause that animal to panic and potentially injure themselves as they try to flee;
  2. If you can, stay home with your pet on the night — they’ll be reassured and comforted by your presence. Alternatively, consider finding someone reliable to come to your house and look after your pets while you are out;
  3. Keep your pets indoors throughout the evening and ensure they can’t see or hear the fireworks — exterior doors and windows should be secured to prevent your pets running away, and curtains/blinds closed to muffle the noise from the fireworks and to stop your pets being scared by the flashes. Turn on the TV or radio to help drown out the bangs.
  4. If you have an animal with a heart condition or is particularly timid or easily scared, then consult your veterinarian about the best way to keep your animal calm — an option is to provide your pet with medication / sedation to help alleviate their stress;
  5. In the event your pet is panicked by the fireworks and runs away, you will have a much greater chance of being reunited with them if the animal is microchipped, and/or is wearing a collar with up to date contact details on it. If your animal goes missing, then contact your local vet clinics and register your lost pet at