A handful of tips from the RSPCA could help keep you and your pets safe as fireworks ring in the new year.
When the clock hits midnight on New Year's Eve and revellers joyfully cheer and kiss, animals across Australia are often having the opposite experience.
Terrified by the sudden cacophony of sound, pets, livestock and wildlife will often take evasive action and flee.
Carolyn Jones from RSPCA South Australia told Yahoo News any animal which can hear fireworks is “potentially in danger” and both animals and humans can be injured as a result.
“A terrified dog is not a dog that's thinking at all, and can behave in a way that puts themselves at risk,” she said.
“They may also not be behaving in a friendly manner because they're fearful.
“So, we’d just say be careful if you are trying to capture or contain an escaped dog, just try and gauge whether the animal actually is safe to be approached and if you are unsure, then contact the RSPCA.”
Key tips to keep your pets safe during fireworks displays
Other tips they suggest include:
Keep pets inside with the windows closed, curtains drawn.
Make sure they have enough food and a supply of clean water.
If you can stay home, reward good animal behaviour during the evening with treats.
Double check your yard to make sure they can’t escape.
Settle your pets with exercise before fireworks begin.
Dog owners should consider purchasing a thunder jacket to calm their pet.
Don’t tie your dog up during fireworks as they can panic and choke themselves.
Wildlife and livestock could become terrified by fireworks
It’s not just pets that can have a negative reaction to fireworks.
Wildlife such as possums, birds, bats and even macropods can become frightened by the sound and flee onto roads and into backyards where they can be savaged by pets.
“If you're driving through any bushland, just be aware there could be animals fleeing from from the noise,” Ms Jones said.
“The other thing that is definitely at risk is livestock, particularly cattle and sheep and horses.
“Horses can run themselves into fences because they’re just so terrified by the sound of fireworks, and we would be very hopeful that nobody is letting off any fireworks close to any livestock because the dangers of them being injured are very high.”
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