There are plenty of us that enjoy a good firework display, especially in summertime around the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, for our pets, the noisy displays in the sky don’t hold the same joy for them as they do for us.
Our furry friends don’t have the same understanding of what is going on, and easily get spooked by the loud bangs and flashing lights in the sky. It’s scary for them – mostly because they have much more sensitive ears than us. Can you only imagine what they must be hearing?
In fact, there have been statistics to back up the significant correlation between firework shows and a spike in vet visits the following day. The prime example of this is July 5th, which happens to be one of the busiest days for vets across the United States. This is because the 4th is spent in the tradition of setting off tons and tons of fireworks.
For many household pets like cats and dogs, this is the time that they are most likely to end up running away and getting lost in the mayhem, or worse, getting struck by a car. Chickens have also been known to lay fewer eggs during this time. Also, there has been many birds that end up panicking and in their attempts to fly away, end up dying of fright or flying into buildings and hitting the ground.
Besides the most obvious and immediate effects, there are other more long-term medical effects that can affect pets as well as wildlife. For example, sudden and loud bangs have been proved to increase stress levels in puppies, which can result in chronic panic attacks, nausea, and even cardiovascular issues later on in life.
While all this sounds terrible, there is one Italian city that has found a solution to ease the terror of pets, while still allowing people the chance to enjoy colorful firework displays.
The Italian city of Collecchio, located in the province of Parma, has been the first to pioneer a new initiative that requires people to use silent fireworks only. The are hoping that their bold stance on the matter will inspire other cities, both nationally and internationally, to follow their lead. Collecchio’s law clearly states that all those who reside in the town must use silent fireworks in order to respect the animals and spare them unnecessary stress.
Silent fireworks are a great alternative since they still will deliver all the beautifully bright displays that everybody enjoys, but there is none of the banging and racket that usually accompanies the fireworks. An Italian company is specializing in the making of the silent fireworks and can even customize the colors and effects at the customer’s choosing. The local government of Collecchio has also declared the use of regular fireworks to be punishable by law.
If you’re worried about the silent fireworks not being as much of a spectacle as the traditional ones, there’s no need to be. Silent fireworks are actually accompanied by even stronger visual effects, as well as laser shows, which makes them that much more colorful.
Regular firework displays are known as “stars” in the industry, and they tend to be so strong that they lose a bit of their colorful effects. Silent fireworks on the other hand, don’t lose their vibrancy. Instead, they leave a colorful “comet trail” in lieu of the loud bang. Pretty cool, right?
Recently, Middelkerke, a city on the coast of Belgium, was inspired by Collecchio, and they organized their own “animal-friendly” firework show. The local government encouraged pet owners to come enjoy the display with their little furry friends. It was great because for once, both humans and animals were able to enjoy the show together.
We can only hope that more cities around the world take note. Would you like to see more places adopt pet-friendly fireworks?