Groups: Firecrackers Are Dangerous to Cats and Dogs

 As the last day of 2019 rapidly approaches, animal welfare and environmental protection groups called on revelers to shun firecrackers and fireworks as these are not only harmful to human beings but also to animals with highly developed sense of hearing such as cats and dogs.

In a joint press statement, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and the EcoWaste Coalition jointly appealed to the public to keep the New Year’s Eve festivities safe and less stressful for cats and dogs. 

“The loud bangs, booms, crackling noises and whistles from firecrackers and fireworks are distressing for cats and dogs who are gifted with highly sensitive hearing,” said Anna Cabrera, Executive Director, PAWS, adding that “the thunderous sounds and flashing lights, especially on the days and hours leading to the New Year, provide no entertainment to our furry friends who are terrified and threatened by the noisy and warlike festivities.” 

“With no safe space to go, the Asong Pinoys (aspins) and Pusang Pinoys (puspins) on the streets are more scared and traumatized when firecrackers are directly thrown at them by uncaring individuals who derive pleasure in seeing them run away in fear,” she said, pointing out that such cruelty to animals is punishable by law.

"If we stop using firecrackers, humans and animals would both be better off - as we do not add to the air and noise  pollution - and we focus on other peaceful, more productive and less harmful ways to usher in the new year," she emphasized. 

"Celebrating with family and friends without firecrackers is possible - if we care for the welfare of our furry friends," she said, further pointing out "when we see how much our pets suffer from severe anxiety and fear from the firecracker blasts, one would understand why majority of pet owners would want a total ban on the use of firecrackers in our country."   

Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition, called attention to “the air pollution from the ignition of firecrackers and fireworks that may cause disorientation, appetite loss and upset stomach among exposed cats and dogs.”

“The ingestion of firecrackers and fireworks and their fragments and residues, which are loaded with hazardous substances, may also cause chemical poisoning in cats and dogs,” he warned.

According to Pet Poison Helpline, pets can develop gastrointestinal problems like vomiting, painful abdomen, and bloody diarrhea when firecrackers or fireworks are ingested, the severity of which will depend on the type and amount of firecrackers or fireworks ingested. 

To promote a safe and less stressful New Year’s celebrations for cats and dogs, including aspins and puspins, PAWS and the EcoWaste Coalition urged animal-loving Filipinos to heed the following advice:

1. Sway members of your household and your neighborhood not to light firecrackers and fireworks.

2. Exercise pets in the morning so they will be tired by night time and hopefully, resting or fast asleep by the time the New Year’s revelry begins.

3.  Keep pets inside during firecracker explosions or fireworks displays, but do not chain or tie them.

4. Provide a safe and secure space where pets can stay during the noisy revelry; close the windows and put the curtains down to block out the noise and any abrupt bursts of light.

5.  Play soothing music or turn up the radio or TV to drown out the deafening bangs from firecrackers and fireworks.

6.  Put a calming wrap or anxiety vest on pets to make them feel protected and secure.

7. Ensure pet’s access to drinking water, and make your pet pee or poo before the revelry starts.

8.  Escape-proof your home to prevent pets from going outside during the festivities.

9.  Do not  drive stray cats and dogs away, give them food and water, and let them stay at least for the night.   

10.  To avoid choking, strangulation and poisoning incidents, keep shopping bags, cleaning solutions, tobacco products, alcoholic drinks, chocolate, fruit cake, and nuts out of pet's reach.




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