Everyone has their own way of celebrating Australia Day in our wonderful country.  Whether you are having a barbie at home, going to the beach or watching the fireworks, our pets are part of the family and they are often included in the celebrations. We share a few tips for a pet-friendly Australia Day.  Enjoy the day with peace of mind knowing your cat or dog is happy and safe during the festivities.

Pet-friendly Australia Day party at home

  • Exercise your pets – If you’re hosting celebrationsexercise your dog or play with your cat before your guests arrive. This will help them de-stress and make them more likely to nap once the festivities are underway.
  • pet-friendly Australia Day

    Pool safety for a pet-friendly Australia Day

    Supervise interactions between dogs and kids! Ensure interactions between pets and young children are always supervised.  Stop play if your pup is showing signs of stress/fear/concern

  • Don’t force your pup to interact with other dogs and people. Your dog may tolerate family members, however, this doesn’t mean that he will accept attempts by less familiar friends or strangers. A dog feeling stressed or fearful could become aggressive. If you think your dog is going to react to something, take action to prevent a distressing event such as dog bite.
  • Create a safe, quiet place for your pet to relax away from the party. Even the most social creatures need a break sometimes.  A crate is a safe and happy space for your dog, take the crate with you if your dog is used to resting in a crate and don’t forget his favourite toy and comfy bedding.  Your cat is likely to escape the noisy festivities by finding a spot to rest up high.  It may also help to play music or leave the TV on to mask the chatter of visitors.
  • No leftover festive food. BBQ food often has a lot of seasonings including garlic, salt and onion, which are all toxic to dogs and cats. Keep people food and drinks out of reach at all times and tell guests not to feed your pet!
  • Pool party. Keep an eye on your pup all the time, especially if they are old, have health conditions or are weak swimmers.  Dogs may try to drink pool water, which could contain salt or chlorine, so ensure that there is a constant supply of fresh drinking water.

Pet-friendly Australia Day at the beach or park

  • Pet-friendly Australia Day

    Romeo at the beach! Photo: Susan Papazian

    Dog park manners – be aware of other dogs at the dog park, your dog probably won’t enjoy being chased and rumbled by three other boisterous dogs. Dr Sophia Yin has an easy to understand poster on dog park etiquette you can download.

  • Poo bags – Make sure you take enough Poo Bags for the whole day! Not only is it horrible for other people, leaving behind piles on the beach can get you an on the spot fine.
  • Apply Dog Sunscreen to ensure it isn’t damaged by the sun’s UV rays.
  • Take plenty of drinking water along for your dog. Use the Pop Up Bowl to fill up easily on the go.

More about dog-friendly destinations in Australia.

Dressing up for a pet-friendly Australia Day

Pet-friendly Australia Day

Doggy bandana for a pet-friendly Australia Day. Photo: Shutterstock

While some of our cats and dogs can tolerate being dressed up, many others don’t like it and can get distressed. Small pieces of costumes can be a choking hazard. Test the outfit before Australia Day to see how your dog or cat reacts.

You could consider just a festive bandana or bowtie for your pooch or kitty.  Your dog will definitely look like a true blue Aussie wearing this Straya Day Dog Bandana!

Pet safety during the fireworks

Plenty of fireworks will happen on Australia Day and they can be very stressful and frightening for our furry friends.

  • Pets and fireworks tips

    Pets and fireworks tips. Photo: Joseph Chan

    Update your pet’s identification in case they escape from our homes in fright. How to search for a lost cat is a different approach for a lost dog.

  • Keep your dog or cat indoors with access to fresh water and toys to entertain them.  Here are a few ideas for cats and for dogs.
  • Exercise your dog or cat before the fireworks, so hopefully, they will nap throughout the fireworks.

More tips for keeping pets safe during the fireworks.