How fireworks can hurt your pet

Durban is buzzing in anticipation of this year’s Diwali season with people getting ready and purchasing their fireworks for the big celebration.

While this is a joyful occasion, often pets or animals around the community are severely affected by the fireworks used during the celebrations.

The ears of animals are considerably more sensitive than the human ear. This makes the sound of the fireworks almost unbearable for most animals.

A firework explosion can emit sounds of up to 190 decibels, a full 110 to 115 decibels higher than the 75 to 80 decibel range where humans experience ear damage. This is even worse for animals and can even affect an animal’s sense of hearing entirely.

According to the SPCA, animals can also experience blind panic which makes them want to escape.  Often household pets do escape and do not find a way home.

Lindsey Concer, the Income Development and Communications manager at the SPCA spoke about the effects fireworks have on animals.

“During this time, the SPCA experiences a rise in the number of stray animals coming through our doors, and lost reports from worried pet owners start to pour in. The Durban and Coast SPCA is taking a proactive stance this year and will be holding a Micro-chipping Drive to encourage pet owners to get their animals micro chipped. This is the best way to ensure you will be reunited with your pet should they go missing during this busy time,” said Concer.

The herbal calming medication, Anxitane, will be administered to the animals at a reasonable price. “It is highly effective and will help keep your pet calm without the harsh effects of a tranquilizer,” explained Concer.

She also gave some helpful tips on how the community can better protect their animals during this festive time:

  • Keep pets indoors in a familiar room;
  • Close the windows and curtains;
  • Have the television or radio on to muffle the sounds of fireworks;
  • Stay in the room with pets and behave as you normally with. Pets react to our emotions, so if you are calm, they will feel calm;
  • Give them something to do, such as a chewy bone to munch on, or catnip toys for cats;
  • Give your pets herbal calming medication meant for animals. Start giving your pets medication recommended by your vet or the SPCA a week prior to the expected fireworks for the best results;
  • Have them micro chipped.

The community is urged to make the SPCA their first port of call should they find a lost or stray animal, or if they lose their own pet. Animals are kept at the SPCA for seven days before they are put up for adoption.

“If your pet has gone missing, ensure to visit your local SPCA’s within the seven day timeframe,” she said.

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