MANILA, Philippines - December 31, probably the noisiest time in any given year, is only 3 days away.
Welcoming the new year may be a happy occasion for most people, but not for pets and other animals, who have sensitive hearing. Their ears suffer terribly from the noise made by firecracker blasts, causing them to tremble, bark excessively, refuse to eat food, lose bowel control, or hide in different places (such as under the car, bed or dining table) out of panic.
In extreme cases, some animals jump over fences and through plate-glass windows, and even break chains just to get away from the terrifying sounds, according to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
"Lucky animals are reunited with their families, but others are never found. Many dogs and other animals are taken to animal shelters with bloody paws from running, torn skin from breaking through wooden fences, or other serious injuries. Some animals are hit by cars or killed in other ways as they flee from fireworks," PETA said in a statement.
So before you start the year with a bang, think again. PETA said it's best for pet owners to have their animal companions stay with them at home instead of leaving them chained outside or allowing them to watch the fireworks display.
Try to drown the sounds made by fireworks by keeping your pets in the most soundproof room you have. Close your windows and curtains, give comfortable beds, and play some relaxing music.
Certain treats may also be given to animals who are afraid of loud bangs upon the approval of a veterinarian.
When the smoke has cleared, help lessen the trauma by taking them out for a walk.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) earlier reminded pet owners that animals cannot be used for enjoyment, citing Republic Act 8485 (Animal Welfare Act).
PAWS made the statement as some people tie firecrackers at the end of a cat's tail before lighting them, an act which can be classified as animal cruelty.
Photo courtesy of Kristine Flores