Warning for pet owners

AS you enjoy tonight’s fireworks display, spare a thought for the furry friends who might not find it so fun.

Helping paw: Trudie Chant and ex-SARG dog Lola offer a timely warning about ensuring pet safety and security during New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Sunraysia Animal Rehousing Group president Trudie Chant is reminding animal owners that their dogs, cats and other pets can often become distressed by the loud noises on New Year’s Eve.

Ms Chant said it was the busiest time of year for animal shelters as distressed animals were likely to flee.

“It’s definitely a problem,” she said.

“The best thing to do is keep them inside and keep the blinds down, because the flashes of light as well as the noise frightens them.

“Especially if you’ve got a brand new puppy, make it fun for them the first time they hear fireworks.”

Ms Chant suggested animal owners stay home with their pets tonight, giving them plenty of attention (and treats) in an effort to reduce their anxiety. She suggested using “high-value”­ treats such as barbecue chicken for dogs to ensure they had a positive experience.

For people who were unable to stay at home, Ms Chant recommended having a friend or family member look after pets.

She said a bad New Year’s Eve experience would cause anxiety in dogs, which would stay with them for life.

“So if a car backfires, they’ll get a fright and jump the fence and disappear,” she said.

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