Soft music and chewy toys to help pets over New Year

2010-12-31 00:00

PET owners dread the distress that the traditional firework displays on New Year’s Eve will have on their dogs tonight.

SPCA spokeswoman Maureen Vida said that distressed animals are a problem every year and advised people how to calm their pets.

“We would be much happier if people just let off fireworks at midnight but that doesn’t happen,” she said, adding that fireworks displays continue well before and after midnight.

She urged pet owners to take the necessary precautions.

Where possible, Vida said the best thing is to stay at home with your pets and try and distract them as much as possible.

Those who will not be at home during this time are advised to leave their pets with a friend or relative rather them leaving them alone.

Vida recommended familiar surroundings and soft music to help put pets at ease as well as soft chewy toys and tranquillizers.

However, Vida cautioned against the use of heavy tranquillizers saying soft tranquillizers are best.

“It’s not a good idea to tranquillize a dog and then leave it unattended,” she said.

Soft tranquillizers that take the edge off without putting one’s dog in danger of being heavily sedated are recommended.

The SPCA is working hand-in-hand with the explosives division of the SAPF in trying to amend the laws that govern the use of fireworks, said Vida.

She said they are just looking at ways to try and restrain the use of fireworks; possibly only allowing people to use them at certain times on certain days such as only at midnight on New Year’s Eve and Diwali.

“If people know the time and day they can take better precautions,” she said.

Vida said they plan on approaching the municipality in January in an attempt to get them to rework their fireworks by-laws. — WR.

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