Fireworks are a feature of the festive season in KwaZulu-Natal with a few prominent firework dates in the calendar:
- Guy Fawkes – Thursday, November 5
- Diwali – Saturday, November 14
- New Year’s Eve, 31 December
Do not set off fireworks near animals and keep pets indoors and medicated if necessary.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) put together a guide with individual information for each pet.
Before the fireworks start, set up a play area for your dog in one of the quieter corners of your home.
This area should include some of their favourite toys and snacks to keep them occupied when the fireworks display starts.
There should also be places for the dog to hide within the area, under furniture for example.
When the fireworks start, make sure the room is darkened so that the light is not adding to the fearful experience for the dog.
Blankets on the windows or strong curtains will also muffle the sound, cutting out the two main sources of terror.
Make sure the dog is occupied when the fireworks are happening, try and keep their attention on you and away from what is happening outside.
It also helps to have taken the dog for a walk during the day so that they are not as excitable when the fireworks start.
Many of the same procedures will help your cat to get through the fireworks.
A hiding area is even more crucial for cats as they like to feel in control of their surroundings, so set up a few cardboard boxes around the darkened room.
Make sure not to try and take them out of their hiding spots as this could add to their stress.
Play music or have a television on in the background so the cat can listen to something it is accustomed to, rather than the fireworks.
Microchip your cat, because they are more able to escape and go missing than dogs.
There will be many missing animals dropped off at vets after a night of fireworks, and micro-chipping will help with identification.
Make sure cages and aviaries are partially covered so that they are soundproof from one side.
Leave an uncovered portion so that the animals are still able to look out.
Provide lots of extra bedding so that the pets have something to burrow in.
Contact the Dolphin Coast SPCA if your pet goes missing.