Protect your pets from fireworks

2014-12-31 00:00

IT’S that time of the year again when fireworks light up the sky and disgruntled pet owners seek ways to protect their furry friends.

Be sure to take the following precautions this New Year’s Eve in order to keep tails wagging well ­into 2015.

According to local vet Estee van Aardt, there are different options for those seeking sedatives over the counter. One can purchase herbal and rescue-type drugs or take very frantic animals to one’s vet to be sedated by injection.

She confirmed that herbal sedatives have no real side-effects but some sedatives can cause disorientation for up to eight hours. For that reason, it’s best to avoid allowing the animal near stairs and pools.

“Keep dogs indoors where there is no glass or windows. But the best thing is to be at home with them. Keep the radio on near them as well as this will act as a distraction from the noise outside.”

Van Aardt said cats are also affected by the noise but they generally do not need to be sedated.

The town’s municipal by-laws clearly state that you can only let off fireworks an hour before midnight and an hour after midnight on New Year’s Eve. Besides tomorrow night, nobody may set off fireworks on any day or at any time other than from 7 pm to 10 pm on the Hindu New Year, the Jewish festival of Lag B’Omer, on Guy Fawkes Day and on Diwali.

Any person who violates fireworks regulations is liable to a fine or even imprisonment, on conviction. On top of these penalties, the person convicted can be held responsible for any damage caused by the fireworks.

Remember, in terms of the municipal by-laws, the following rules apply when using fireworks.

No firework is allowed to

be used:

• On a street or in a public space

• Within 200 metres of any hospital, clinic, petrol station, old age home or animal welfare centres.

• Within 500 metres of a nature reserve.

• In a place where an animal is present.

• Also, no fireworks may be directed at a person, animal, building or vehicle.

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