With the Fourth of July holiday quickly approaching, we wanted to share some actionable tips to help you keep your pets happy and healthy during festive firework displays. While humans love these loud and colorful booms, animals often feel stressed, startled, and confused by the noise and lights. In fact, Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, reveals that July 5th is the busiest day for animal shelters, as “dogs and cats panic and often run away to escape the noise.”
Fourth of July: Protecting Your Pets
Here are six ways to protect your four-legged friends during Fourth of July fireworks:
Secure your pets: When dogs get scared, they tend to feel frantic and try their best to escape from their current environment. For this reason, it’s important to secure your pet in a space in your home that’s safe and comfortable. Try to find somewhere small and dark that allows them to feel like they’re hiding.
Take necessary precautions: Despite your best efforts, your pet may still panic, which often causes them to be destructive. As you prepare their space, remove anything that can become damaged or may hurt your pet if chewed or eaten. Be sure to add an extra water bowl too: Panting can cause them to become dehydrated and distracted from their usual drinking habits. Additionally, be sure to lock all possible exits, including doors, windows, and fence gates.
Double-check their collar: Each year, animal control officials report a 30 to 60 percent increase in lost pets between July 4th and July 6th. Confirm that your correct contact information is listed on their tag and that their collar is securely fastened around their neck. Also, update their microchip information and pet licenses if needed.
Use a noise machine: To prevent the loud noises of celebration from upsetting your pets, consider turning on a noise machine, calm music, or a television show. This small effort will help to drown out the firework explosions, further helping them feel safe.
Don’t stress: We all know that our furry friends respond to our own emotions. If you’re home during fireworks, give your pet extra attention to let them know that it’s okay. You can quell their fears by petting and hugging them, talking in a sweet voice, offering them a treat, and/or simply being nearby.
Seek outside help: If needed, consider using an anxiety vest or calming supplement. Discuss the various options with your vet.
At-Home Celebrations with Fireworks
Around the Fourth of July holiday, the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) sees an increase in calls related to pets who have ingested fireworks, which contain multiple chemicals and heavy metals. If you have plans to celebrate with a light show at home, store your supplies somewhere that your pet can’t reach. Never discount your pet’s curiosity, especially with something as foreign to them as fireworks! If your dog is prone to chewing or eating on anything, hide them somewhere high and behind a closed door, like the top shelf of your pantry or in a garage cabinet. Additionally, be sure to thoroughly clean-up your yard before allowing your dog to explore again.
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