Fireworks can be terrifying for furry family members so make sure your pets are safe during Guy Fawkes celebrations.
Christchurch City Council Animal Management Team Leader Mark Vincent says cats and dogs often flee from the loud booms and showers of light during the busy night on 5 November.
“Animals are often found in a state of panic and very confused, and can seek shelter a long way from home,” Mr Vincent says.
“Pet owners need to create a safe and – where possible – quiet space in their homes to keep animals stress-free during the Guy Fawkes period. Remember to also feed and walk your dog well before dusk and always keep animals inside.
“Keep a radio or TV on during the evening to help muffle loud sounds and sudden shrieks of fireworks and keep all the curtains closed. Reassure your pets and keep some treats nearby.
“A large crate with comfortable and familiar bedding can be an ideal sanctuary for your dog or cat, along with a blanket over the crate to damp any sounds.”
Pet owners are also being encouraged to have dogs microchipped in case they take fright and go missing.
A quick scan of the unique microchip identification number by Council staff will help reunite pet and owner.
“If your contact details have changed since you last registered your dog, please let the Council know so we can update our records,” Mr Vincent says.
“People should also ensure their dogs have collars and a tag with their owner’s phone number so that any dogs found can be swiftly returned to their homes and not end up at the animal shelter.”
If your dog does go missing, contact the Council call centre on 03 941 8999.
Larger animals – such as sheep, horses and ponies – can also be frightened by loud fireworks.
“Animals can bolt from their paddocks and onto busy roads, so check that all fences are secure,” Mr Vincent says.
“Write a phone number on horse covers or halters so Council staff can easily track down owners if an animal escapes. A horse on the loose is potentially fatal for the animal and can cause a serious road accident.”
Fireworks are on sale for the three days up to Guy Fawkes, so people also need to be aware that early explosions in local neighbourhoods may upset pets.