Filipinos reminded: Firecrackers also pose harms to dogs, cats

Filipinos reminded: Firecrackers also pose harms to dogs, cats
This undated file photo shows people watching a fireworks display.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — An animal welfare group and an environmental organization called on Filipinos to refrain from using firecrackers and fireworks as they harm not only humans, but also the environment and animals.

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society and the EcoWaste Coalition issued this joint appeal Thursday, ahead of the Christmas and New Year festivities. 

EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator Aileen Lucero said: “It is time to let go of our toxic and warlike tradition to herald the New Year.”

“Firecrackers and fireworks represent a clear danger for animals and human beings and the environment at large,” she said. 

PAWS executive director Anna Cabrera noted that the exploding noise from firecrackers and other pyrotechnics is “torture” to animals like cats and dogs who have highly developed sense of hearing. 

“Aside from the ear-splitting noise, smoke inhaled from detonated firecrackers may cause anxiety, disorientation, loss of appetite and an upset stomach for our furry companions,” Cabrera said.

“What is worse is if they accidentally eat remnants of the firecrackers, this will result in gastrointestinal problems — symptoms of which could be abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.”

The two organizations also recommended the following to minimize stress for pets during New Year festivities:

  • Walk or take your pets for a run or vigorous play or physical activity before it gets dark so they will be tired by night time
  • Keep pets inside to avoid them from becoming stressed or exposed to loud explosions and toxic fumes. Do not chain or tie them outside your home 
  • Escape-proof your home to prevent pets from going out during the revelry. 
  • Make pets pee or poo before the revelry starts, and give them ready access to water.
  • Provide a quiet and safe spot where pets can stay during the revelry; shut the windows, pull the curtains down and play soft music inside your home.
  • Turn on the television if this will help mask the noise of the firecrackers outside and if you think your pet prefers the sound of the TV over other loud noises.
  • Act as normal and as calm as possible even while the explosions are at their worst so that your pets will take a cue from your behavior.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about giving your pet drops of “Rescue Remedy” or calming edible drops on their favorite treat ahead of time. 
  • Keep alcoholic drinks, chocolate, fruit cake, nuts, shopping bags, tobacco products, and cleaning agents out of pet's reach to prevent choking and poisoning incidents.
  • Give stray animals temporary shelter, food and water, especially during the revelry.

Gaea Katreena Cabico

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