Fireworks: Effects on Wildlife, Farm Animals and Pets

Fireworks: Effects on Wildlife, Farm Animals and Pets

Spring has arrived and with summer to come we welcome all the activities and events that go along with it. Unfortunately, one of the things that make our children smile with glee is the same thing that puts animals into flight mode around the world – leaving orphaned young, causing injury to others and sorrow in our hearts. Fireworks are actually of huge concern to animal welfare everywhere.

Horses bolt, ending up on public streets; cows stampede, ever watched a western where they shoot off a gun to get cows to run? Same thing; birds flying into objects, or each other; mothers leaving their young and becoming disoriented when they’ve gone to far; deer darting and becoming impaled on fences, the list goes on and on…

Here are some articles from the news to help put this devastation into perspective;

49 horses injured and 11 killed since 2010: the real cost of fireworks *warning: graphic images*

A dairy farmer in Maryland was forced to put down four of his cows in 2013 after they were injured in a stampede caused by a firework show in a nearby field.

If anyone remembers, it was all over the news,  in 2011 in Arkansas, hundreds of birds fell dead to the ground during New Year’s eve festivities with researchers thinking fireworks were to cause for them to be flying and crashing into each other and objects due to fear. 

Forbes magazine posted this  in December 2017, reaching out to everyone whether on not this should continue and countries and municipalities around the world are reaching out to politicians to put an end to these. 

Let’s also not forget all the injuries to people and possessions caused regularly by fireworks. In 2015, Brampton had a house fire that engulfed two neighbouring houses when they used fireworks in their backyard. Brampton does actually have a by-law that private homes can NOT use fireworks that travel more than 10ft from where they are ignited.

“Permitted Fireworks” are consumer fireworks that do not travel more than three (3) metres (10 feet) from the point of ignition, and may include fireworks such as fountains, wheels, ground spinners, burning school houses, flying ghosts and sparklers. But even these should be used with extreme caution. 

“Prohibited Fireworks” are consumer fireworks that would reasonably be expected to travel or pose a hazard more than three (3) metres (10 feet) from the point of ignition, such as roman candles, flying lanterns, barrages, bombshells, cakes, comets, mines, missiles and skyrockets.

Should we all be thinking twice about the impact these cause to the animals on this planet? Do we really need to showcase these to celebrate a public holiday?

Alternatives should be considered.

Pets and Fireworks!

Keep your pets happy this summer.


Fireworks are fun. Fireworks are bright.

Fireworks are LOUD!

Did you know that most pets are scared of fireworks? But there are ways to help your pet get through these summer nights and weekends.

With all products or training you MUST start prior to a night of fireworks. So today is a good day to start.

Products recommended and carried by Snelgrove Veterinary Services

Thundershirt — This is put on your pet, as it says in its name, a shirt.  This is meant to give comfort by applying pressure on certain points of your pets body to ease of anxiety.

Adaptil Collars — These collars contain pheromones that are released by the mom to relieve pups from anxiety and to reassure them.  These pheromones can also give the same relief in adult dogs.

Zylkene  — is a natural product that can help reduce anxiety. Please click on the link for more detailed information.

Anxitane — an amino acid that acts neurologically to help dogs and cats keep calm. Please click on the link for more detailed information.

Tips to help your pets to adjust:

Do not punish your dog — Punishing your dog may make them more anxious and fearful.

Do not console your dog — Consoling your dog gives them the idea that its ‘OK’ to be afraid, although it is, they should be able to feel some relief on their own.

Try placing your dog in their safe place, such as their crate, to make them feel more secure. Make sure all windows and doors are closed and leave on a radio or the tv to help minimize the noise. It does not need to be on loud, just as an added distraction. Use treat stuffed toys when fireworks start or play a game with your dog. Keep your pet inside. Do not force them to be with you outside when the fireworks are going off. Do not let them outside to use the washroom while fireworks are going off. This can lead to pets that are afraid to go outside to relieve themselves.

Visit our PET HEALTH section of our website for lots of other desensitization tips and tricks for fireworks, thunderstorms and hundreds of other topics.

If you have any topics you would like us to write about in the future. Feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading 🙂