While humans love to celebrate the end of the year with a bang, for pets, the noise of fireworks can be a not-so-nice surprise.
Fireworks displays will light up Wollongong and Kiama harbours on Saturday night, and dog owners should keep their pets in mind if they're close to the action, said RSPCA NSW Chief Veterinarian Dr. Liz Arnott.
Dogs have very sensitive ears - they hear 10 times better than humans - so fireworks can be terrifyingly loud and stressful for them, she said.
To decrease their anxiety, Dr Arnott said owners should ensure their dog has had good exercise ahead of any fireworks - a dog that has had opportunities to decompress may be less anxious during the night.
Ensure your pets are microchipped and wearing an ID tag, so they can be easily returned if they escape, and if you can, stay home to be with your pet and try to keep them secured indoors, she said.
To mask the sound of the fireworks, owners can leave the TV or radio on, and if the pet is not overwhelmed, owners could try engaging them in normal activities such as play and reinforce any calm behaviour with treats or their favourite toy.
To ensure an anxious pet does not accidentally harm themselves, owners can remove any objects at home that could cause injury to a panicking animal.
If owners know their pets have anxiety associated with fireworks, they should speak to their vets for assistance beforehand, Dr. Arnott said.
If you find a wandering pet with no tag, take the animal to a vet, or contact Wollongong Council here.
We've made it a whole lot easier for you to have your say. Our new comment platform requires only one log-in to access articles and to join the discussion on the Illawarra Mercury website. Find out how to register so you can enjoy civil, friendly and engaging discussions. Sign up for a subscription here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.