Thunderstorms, fireworks and hot weather

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Fireworks and thunderstorms

Fireworks and thunderstorms can be a problem for some pets.

Dogs and cats, in particular, do not understand where the loud noises they can hear are coming from. They believe they’re in danger and will often try to escape.

Pets can suffer serious injuries while trying to get away from the noise. They can also become lost, creating other problems.

Protecting your pet

Try these precautions to protect and comfort your dog or cat during fireworks and thunderstorms:

  • de-sensitize your pet beforehand by playing recorded noises from fireworks and thunderstorms (this must be done in a controlled environment)
  • keep your pet inside during fireworks and thunderstorms
  • try to be at home with your dog or cat and comfort it if it is distressed
  • if you know your pet is likely to be distressed, ask your vet to prescribe a mild sedative
  • mask the noise by turning up the volume on the radio or TV
  • above all, stay calm during thunderstorms as your pet (especially dogs) will be aware of you and how you react.

Protecting your pets fact sheet

Event organisers

If you’re an event organiser you can help local pet owners by advising them of upcoming fireworks and how long your planned display is likely to last. A letter box drop in the immediate area of where the fireworks are being held can help. Notices on community notice boards in shops can also be of assistance. Pet owners can then make arrangements for their pets. If you are planning on using fireworks in the West Torrens area, contact us to let us know.

Safework SA also has information on its website about fireworks and planned events.

Hot weather

Dogs don’t sweat like humans. Moisture is lost through their tongues - which is why dogs pant when they are hot.

During hot weather make sure that your dog:

  • has plenty of cool fresh water to drink
  • has access to shade if kept outdoors
  • is in a well ventilated area if kept indoors.

Dogs in cars

Never leave your dog in a vehicle on a warm or hot day. The temperature inside a vehicle left in the open on a warm or hot day can increase very quickly.

It only takes a few minutes for your dog to start to suffer. Within a short time your dog can collapse and die.

Leaving the windows wound down only delays this. Tinted windows only lower the vehicle temperature slightly.

Find out more about heat stress.

Protect your dog

Whenever possible leave your dog at home. If you can’t leave your dog at home you can either:

  • take your dog where you are going
  • tether your dog in a safe, sheltered area nearby.

Dogs found in vehicles

The owner or person responsible for a dog suffering from heat stress inside a vehicle can be charged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Penalties up to $10,000, or 12 months imprisonment, apply.

If you see a dog in a vehicle suffering from heat stress

Contact SA Police or the RSPCA immediately.

SA Police call 131 444

RSPCA call 24 hour hotline 1300 4RSPCA (1300 477 722)

Never try to break into the car yourself. Only SA Police, the RSPCA or those delegated by them can legally break into somebody else's vehicle.