Christmas has only just passed when the New Year is heralded in, and many of us set about making important resolutions that promise to change our lives. Unfortunately though, with the celebratory fireworks set off in cities and towns, and illegally in many backyards, dawn on January 1 can find pets with a dramatically different life too.
The bright, flashing lights and ear-shattering bangs and rumbles are a thrilling spectacle for humans worldwide, but for animals the sights, sounds and smells can be more akin to a terrifying warzone, disorienting and panic-inducing. Even the calmest of pets can be driven in terror from the safety of their backyard, out into the unpredictable danger of busy streets and roads, where anything could happen.
The best hope for lost, frightened animals is to be picked up by The Lost Dogs’ Home’s after-hours ambulances or a local council’s animal control officer. However, New Year’s Eve can see a 400% increase in the number of lost dogs and requests for assistance, stretching after-hours staff resources to the limit. Sadly there is no guarantee that every pet can be reached in time, before the worst happens.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways to help try and prevent pets from escaping and most are quick and easy acts of common sense. In order to keep your pet safe and happy this New Year’s here’s a short list of some of the more important things to remember during the silly season:
- Don’t let off fireworks in your backyard or around your home – plain and simple. Alert authorities of any illegal fireworks in your neighbourhood.
- Make sure that your pet is completely identifiable with a microchip, collar ID tag and most importantly, ensure your contact details are up-to-date. If you have any questions around your pet’s identification then National Pet Register team are only too happy to help. They can be contacted 24/7 on 1300 734 738 or petregister.com.au
- Keep your pet securely contained for the entire night. Often only having a backyard fence between your pet and disaster will not do. Preferably keep your best friend locked inside, in a secure space where they can neither escape nor hurt themselves. It is important that you don’t tie up your dog at the collar, as in a moment of panic he or she could try to get away and accidentally strangle themselves.
- Stay home with your pet, or if this is impossible, try and ensure that they are with someone for the night, or have someone close at hand who can check on them if need be. That person should be familiar to your pet also. Distracting your pet by keeping a radio on and providing them with lots of food and toys is beneficial too.
- If you know your pet is especially anxious, it is sometimes advisable that you speak to your vet regarding any medication you could give to help them stay calm. However, this should be a last resort and must only be undertaken after a professional consultation.
Unfortunately, even after following all of the above advice there’s still no guarantee that your pooch or kitty won’t prove to be too clever for their own good, and escape in spite of your best efforts. If this is the case and you do lose your pet, The Lost Dogs’ Home recommends visiting your local pound as soon as possible and, if unsuccessful, to continue coming in at least once a week, particularly in the first week of January.
All of us here at The Lost Dogs’ and Cats’ Home wish you and your pets a very safe and merry Christmas and New Year.