Pet owners in the Rockingham area are being reminded to prepare their pets for fireworks on Australia Day.
The RSPCA warns that fireworks can cause fear and stress for animals - owners of dogs and horses in particular are asked
to secure their pets and ensure their comfort.
Fireworks are scheduled in the Rockingham area from 8.30pm on Sunday, while no fireworks are scheduled for Mandurah.
Tips from the RSPCA to keep pets safe and calm:
- Prepare early. Exercise your dog before the fireworks start – do this in the evening when it’s cooler to avoid hot pavements, which could burn your dog’s paws. Then, after a couple of hours, feed them a meal. A tired and well-fed dog may be less anxious during the night.
- Keep pets indoors and provide access to a hiding place where they can retreat to – somewhere dimly lit, and sheltered or enclosed such as a closet or under the bed. Ensure they have access to food and water while in their hiding place, and a favourite blanket or toy to comfort them.
- Close blinds or curtains, keep lights on, and play music or turn on the TV to mask sounds
- Remain calm around your pets so they don’t pick up on any nervous energy, and try to engage your pets in normal activities, rewarding them for calm behaviour.
- Ensure your pet’s microchip is up-to-date with your current contact details, and that they’re wearing an ID tag, so that you can be easily reunited if they do manage to escape.
- Never tether your dog during fireworks and never use a choke chain to restrain your dog. Dogs who panic can choke themselves on a collar or lead.
- Dogs should not be left outside alone, as this greatly increases the risk of them experiencing fear and distress, as well as a greater likelihood of escape.
- Ensure small pets are secured in their hutch/enclosure and bring them inside, if possible.
- Stable horses and cover stable windows to mask the sight and sound of the fireworks. Ensure the stable is free from any sharp objects that could injure a horse if it becomes startled.
- If possible, stay home with your pets or organise for someone familiar to be home with them until the fireworks have finished.