To some people, fireworks are as American as apple pie. They find the sparks and pops and bangs exciting. However, what some people may find exciting and fun (since we know what is going on), is fearful and alarming to most animals. All that noise and confusion can create real chaos and terror among animals. As a result, every year during times when fireworks are commonly used (Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, etc.), many animals are lost, injured, or even killed as a result of their reactions to the commotion.
It is very common for household pets to run away from home and become lost or hurt because they are frightened by fireworks nearby. And the danger is not only to cats and dogs. Large animals – particularly horses – also react unpredictably with sometimes disastrous results. Horses will often panic and run into fences or other obstacles. Every year there are reports of seriously injured horses and deaths of horses attributed directly to their response to the noise of fireworks.
You can prevent these needless tragedies in two ways. If you have small animals, make every effort to keep them indoors during times when fireworks are being used in the neighborhood. At the very least, keep them behind a fence and keep an eye on them.
If you have horses or other large animals, try to pasture them away from the roadway and anywhere there might be fireworks going off. Try to stay with them and keep them calm. By being near at hand, you will be able to come to their aid more quickly if they get into trouble and need attention and help.
Please consider not using fireworks at all. They are dangerous for people as well as animals. In addition to causing direct bodily injury, fire hazards are very real, and dozens of fires are started every year due to fireworks. Instead, plan on attending one of the professional fireworks displays in your area.
If you do decide to use fireworks remember they are not toys, and use caution at all times. Be aware that most cities and many counties now ban the use of fireworks by individuals and you could be subject to fines and/or imprisonment for breaking the law. If you are using fireworks even in the country, be considerate of your neighbors and their animals. Don’t use fireworks near animals or children or during high winds or dry conditions. Ideally, notify your neighbors in advance of your plans to set off any fireworks.