Victoria Day With Pets

The long weekend is almost here, and with it, celebrations of Victoria Day! During your celebrations, here are some tips for keeping your pets comfortable and safe through the fun. 

While people love BBQ’s and family fun, pet owners should be aware that fireworks are a completely foreign experience for pets. Unlike thunderstorms, which have atmospheric indicators that tell your pet when a storm is coming, fireworks come without warning and can be very frightening.

Even if you live far from any public firework displays, be prepared for private fireworks close to home. Before any fireworks start, follow these simple tips to keep your pet calm and safe.

Small pets

Small animals (e.g., hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, mice and birds) tend to frighten easily around loud noises. Here are some steps you can take to help them feel more at ease:

  • If you’re concerned about noise, you can move your pet’s cage or hutch to an area of the house that’s quieter (e.g., the garage or basement).
  • Rodents tend to burrow when they’re frightened, so make sure you provide extra bedding.
  • Cover your birdcage or hutch with a blanket or towel to dampen the noise and to block out some of the bright lights.

Dogs and cats

  • Keep your pet indoors during firework displays, making sure to close windows and pet doors leading outside. Startled pets will seek a place to hide, so if your cat or dog manages to get outside, it can be very easy to lose your pet. Being inside the house will also help dampen any loud noises.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing its collar and ID tags (or better yet, make sure your pet is microchipped), just in case your pet gets out.
  • Walk your dog before it gets dark to avoid going outside once the fireworks start.
  • Have a safe place for your pet to feel at ease, like a crate or other den-like enclosure.
  • You can block out some of the flashing lights by keeping curtains closed and by placing a blanket over your pet crate.
  • Your pet may pace around, make noise or search for a place to hide. Let your pet be—trying to coddle or comfort your pet will indicate that something is wrong and add to your pet’s anxiety. By staying calm and relaxed, you’ll help reassure your pet that there’s no real danger.
  • If you know that your pet is frightened by fireworks, try to have someone at home to stay with your pet.
  • Even if your pet doesn’t show signs of distress around fireworks, resist the urge to bring your cat or dog with you to watch a fireworks display. Pets are far more sensitive to the sounds and smells produced by fireworks and would be much happier having a quiet night in.

There have been a lot of cases of panting and overheated dogs that we’ve had lately, so make sure you keep your pooch nice and cool, and hydrated! 

For more tips like these ones that are from the Ontario SPCA, cruise our website, send us an email at [email protected], or give us a call at 604-929-1863. You can also drop into the clinic during our hours!

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