How to best protect indoor pets from the fireworks on New Year’s Eve
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    How to best protect indoor pets from the fireworks on New Year’s Eve

    For people staying at home, distracting the pets by playing with them may help. Credit: Pxfuel

    Every year around New Year’s Eve, the fire brigades and animal welfare organisations warn about the effects of fireworks on animals.

    For pets, both inside and outside the house, it is best to not set off any fireworks at all, but there are ways in which pet owners can prepare their animals for the flashes and pops on New Year’s Eve.

    As the fireworks can be very frightening for animals, they can become a danger to themselves, but also to others.

    The animal welfare organisation recommends securing outdoor animals, like horses, in their stables. The fireworks could cause them to panic and break out, they could hurt themselves by trying to escape their enclosures and become a danger on the road. Smaller pets are best kept indoors.

    “It is best to close blinds and curtains,” said Brigitte Borgmans of Animal Welfare, reports VRT. “Like that, they cannot see the flashes of light. If you leave the lights on, that should work even better. To muffle the loud bangs, it is good to provide some background noise, like a television or radio that keeps playing. When it is quiet inside, the pops come through extra loud. And if animals would still be frightened by flashes or bangs, it is important to create a safe environment in the house as well, so animals cannot hurt themselves,” she added.

    For people staying at home, distracting the pets by playing with them, so they associate the fireworks with something positive, may help.

    The organisation also recommends giving the animal the opportunity to hide, even if it is in a strange spot. It is best not to disturb their safe space. If they cannot find one by itself, the owner can try to create one for them, like a small room or quiet place as far from windows and doors as possible.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times