Spain is a country of fiestas and fireworks. Wherever you are, a city, a village or in the campo, there will always be a time of year where local fiestas and celebrations take place. They are often noisy, with loud music, fireworks, and bonfires.
Fireworks are a pet’s worst nightmare. The loud bangs, squeals and screaming sounds created by a variety of modern fireworks are of concern to pet owners. Your pet has sensitive ears and can hear sounds that you cannot hear. Keeping your pet calm and making them understand can be trying for the owners.
Fireworks in Spain are as common as bull fighting. It is a traditional and cultural fiesta that will take place in bigger cities and organised by the local town halls and local government. The idea is to create as much noise as possible, ear-splitting explosions, huge burning effigies, often made from toxic materials, and children running round the streets, jumping over open fires, and throwing bangers at random.
Even if your pet is kept permanently indoors, you should always make sure that your pet has some form of Identity collar.
If they become so frightened from the fireworks and they can get out of the house and run away to find refuge, they can be identified and returned to you. It’s not like they can put headphones on as their ears are far more sensitive to sound than humans. Panic mode can set in, especialy if you are not at home to comfort them.
Fear can give animals the strength to escape where escape was not thought possible, so at least give them a chance to be returned to you if they do escape and get out into the neighbourhood.
Pets roaming the streets or left loose, escaped from homes, or abandoned, can easily become so scared that they may inadvertently get burned by fireworks or a firework display.
Many people get burned, and they are supposed to have some common sense. The thought of a pet catching fire and running around in fear doesn’t bear thinking about.
Many humans fear thunderstorms but enjoy the revelry of fireworks. Pets hate both and can cause severe stress and trauma in pets.
Some of these symptoms of fear and stress in pets are:-
If you know fireworks are coming, try and take your pet for a walk beforehand. Some pets are too terrified to go out during a fireworks ceremony.
Keep them indoors, in a familiar environment.
Give them a treat, keep them near you and comfort them, make them feel secure.
Try to distract them with noise from the TV or a radio.
Close curtains, doors and try to black out the flashes from fireworks. Keeping doors closed and curtains shut may help deaden the sound of fireworks.
If you must take your pet outside, make sure they are on a leash and that they have some form of ID.
Fire safety should always be observed. Don’t take your pet anywhere near the fireworks, bonfires, or congested and crowded areas.
Most dogs in Spain, in a public area, are required to wear muzzles and be on a lead of no more than 1 meter in length. Observe these rules. A dog may inadvertently bite someone in fear.
Keep your pets away from open fires, matches and fireworks. Pets may try and sniff at discarded fireworks and pet hair can catch fire very easily if they get too close.
These pheromone diffusers are reputed to disperse chemicals mimicking a mothers natural nursing pheromones into the room to calm your pets. Best to check with your vet first as there are mixed reports about the effectiveness and chemicals used to create these diffusers.
Many pets don’t have any fear of fireworks, bangs, explosions, and whistles, but some pets can have a totally opposite reaction and are terrified. Stressed animals can possibly hurt themselves when stressed and possibly escape if left alone.
Terrified pets can cause havoc if left alone in the house, and if escape, can easily be lost, get hit by a car, and the results can be fatal.
Apparently, dogs that are exposed safely to many different experiences such as loud noises, explosions, fireworks and the like, during their first 16 weeks, are more likely to cope with unexpected loud noises such as fireworks.
There are some free downloads on the internet that are supposedly “scientifically researched” and “scientifically” proven to be safe. These are a series of sounds and distressing noises incorporated in a download with usage instructions,
Most of these precautions are common sense. Leaving a pet in a car, unattended for any reason can be trauma itself, without the added stress of fireworks and loud noises.
Leaving your pet chained up in the back yard or on a long lease can have dire consequences in the event of unusual or loud noises and fireworks. In a desperate attempt to break free, dogs can try to jump or leap fences, and end up hanging themselves.
Let us know your comments and how on what you do to protect and comfort your pet during the weeks and months of fireworks and fiestas in Spain.
Your views may be used to help others keep their pets calm during the festive seasons in Spain.
Please send us your comments and any other suggestions for improving pet safety and protection during a fireworks display in Spain.