Raise Vegan October 2018 Raise Vegan - Page 29

READ MORE ON RAISEVEGAN.COM Celebrations, such as Halloween, and fireworks go hand in hand, but for many animals, the loud noises that accompany such displays are nothing to celebrate. Fireworks can be frightening for animals and many become injured trying to escape the terrifying sounds. If you are lucky enough to live with a companion animal, you have a duty to ensure that they feel safe during fireworks displays. Here are some ways to make them feel safe and help them to feel comfortable: Stay Home If this is the first time your dog (or other pet) has experi- enced fireworks since coming into your care, or it they have displayed signs of distress around loud nois- es, just stay home. If this is not an option, arrange for a pet sitter they trust to care for them for the night. Secure Them Even if they have not been bothered by fireworks before, make sure they are in a safe and se- cure location, ideally indoors where they feel comfortable. Never Tether A frightened animal can become entangled and severely injure themselves when restrained by a rope or chain. Choke (or check) chains, prong collars, and devices such as e-collars or shock collars are especially dangerous and should be avoided at all times. Familiarize Them Work with them to show them they’re safe. Expose them to audio recordings of fireworks before the real deal to teach them the noises are nothing to be afraid of. Let them know that you are not worried by talking in a normal tone and act- ing as you would normally act. Start the audio at a low volume and take a break if they seem distressed. Keep Your Cool If they are freak- ing out, remain calm and collected. If they see you acting anxious or scared, this will only upset them fur- ther. Offer your comfort and support. You cannot take away their fear but you can reinforce the fact that you’re there for them when they’re scared. There are other options for animals who have trouble getting over their fear of fireworks. Some pets respond well to “thundershirts,” which work similarly to swaddles used for human babies. There are also medications that can assist them in dealing with their heightened emotions during frightening events. If you have tried everything to help your furry family member cope and they still seem distressed by fireworks or other loud noises, talk to a veterinarian who can help with positive behavioral training. Fireworks don’t have to be scary, especially when your animal friends have an awesome human on their side! by Kate Timmins @Kate_Kismet ID Tags Make sure they are wearing an identification tag that is clearly visible and legible with up to date contact details in case they happen to flee. Consider having your pet micro- chipped, this is a safe way to ensure your animal friends can be returned home safely if they wander off. RAISEVEGAN.COM Raise Vegan 29