Pets and Fireworks

As we all prepare for our 4th of July celebrations, just a reminder that fireworks can cause a great deal of stress for some animals. This is a terrifying and uncomfortable time for both you and your pets.  Remember that your pet cannot control their reaction to loud noises.  Below is some great information I found online by Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM:

Keep pets home. It may be tempting to bring along your dog(s) so everyone can enjoy the fun, but the loud noises aren’t usually fun for pets. Plus, there are many other hazards such as fire, food, or getting lost in the confusion that make staying home in a comfortable safe environment a good choice.

Keep pets indoors if possible. It is advisable to close the curtains and providing an audio distraction. Calming or classical music are good choices.

Provide a safe “escape” place. Many times pets will seek out a small den-like place (such as a crate), if they are fearful or stressed. If you do not already have a crate, bed or similar place that your pet can call his/her own, it is recommended that you create that safe place and familiarize your pet with it before needed, as a means of reducing stress during fireworks and thunderstorms.

Use a leash or carrier. If you must be outside with your pet, keep the pet on a leash or in a carrier at all times.

Practice fire safety. Keep your pet away from matches, lighter fuel, open fires, and fireworks – especially ones that are lighted on the ground. Pets may try to sniff (or eat) fireworks, and pet hair can easily catch fire if too close to the fireworks.

Take your pet for a walk first.  If possible, make sure that your pet has time to “use the restroom” before the fireworks start. Some pets are too frightened to go once the fireworks begin, and this may lead to an “accident” later on.

Make sure pet ID is current. It is extremely important that your pet has proper identification tags, with current information, in case he/she gets away. This will help the local authorities (who are quite busy this time of year handling frightened runaways.)

Wishing you and your families a safe and happy 4th of July!

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