With the possibility for more individual fireworks displays around Ottawa due to physical distancing measures, the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) is concerned about the local dog population.
It says dozens of pets become lost or injured each year on Canada Day because they are spooked by fireworks, and an increase in backyard fireworks heightens that risk.
Dogs tend to be particularly affected by loud festivities.
"Even very confident and calm dogs can become frightened by fireworks and other loud noises," says Bruce Roney, OHS President and CEO. "While humans understand what is happening, animals with sensitive hearing have no idea what these booming noises at unpredictable intervals are. They can become very scared, very quickly, increasing the risk that they might try to bolt and become lost. This is why we at the OHS strongly advise people not to take their dogs to firework displays."
The OHS is recommending that pet owners take precautions to protect their animals so that everyone can have an enjoyable long weekend.
It suggests that if residents are home when fireworks are exploding, they should remain calm and take their pets to a place protected from the noise, like a bathroom, basement or perhaps a crate padded with blankets. Pet owners can also draw their curtains and block all exits.
The OHS says, if a pet is used to the television or a fan, that can help mask the booming sounds outside.
"Do your pet and yourself a favour. The last thing you want to do is spend a very worried Canada Day searching for your missing pet," urges Roney.
Anyone who sees a lost dog is asked to call the City of Ottawa at 311.
Those who unfortunately lose their pets can fill out a lost report here.