Wildlife, pets and fireworks: tips to be a responsible neighbour

Canada Day animals wildlife petsThis week Canadians from coast-to-coast will be celebrating the birth of our nation. Our friends south of the 49th will be doing the same on the weekend. In both instances, barbecues, outdoor parties and family time will be enjoyed by all. But not everyone will enjoy the inevitable fireworks.

For most of us humans, fireworks are beautiful, exciting ways to celebrate. But remember what they are: explosions that come out of nowhere, and are often followed by extreme lights. For a wild animal, that is truly terrifying. And while your dog may be into fireworks (and we know many enjoy watching them), there are those who will panic.

And on the day we celebrate our freedoms in the western world, those who have knowingly gone into dangerous situations to protect those freedoms can suffer, too. Former soldiers or first responders like police officers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be triggered by fireworks.

But there are ways those who want to enjoy fireworks can help mitigate the risks or concerns of those who don’t share their enthusiasm.

  • Check local by-laws: many municipalities understand the many concerns about firework displays and have instituted policies dictating when fireworks may be set off. This gives individuals who have concerns for themselves, families or pets a way of properly planning.
  • Drive slowly: wild animals and dogs or cats who may get loose can be in fight-or-flight mode and are more likely to run into the road when fireworks begin.
  • Talk to neighbours: find out if your neighbours have family members or pets who will react to fireworks displays and plan with them to ensure everyone remains safe.
  • Keep pets indoors: take your dogs out for their last bathroom break just before sunset and keep them, as well as cats, in for the night.

Fireworks are a fun way to celebrate, but please remember that not everyone will enjoy them. Following these tips can help make sure you’re a responsible neighbour.


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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible.

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