Can you guess the busiest day of the year for many animal shelters in the United States? According to the American Humane Association, it is July 5th—that’s right; the day after the Fourth of July. This year, make a “pledge” that your pet will not be among the many that flee their homes in a panic after unsettling firework celebrations begin. Here are just a few tips, including some from the AVMA, to keep your pet safe this Independence Day.
1. Make sure that your pet has a properly fitting collar with an attached ID tag and that all the information is up to date; likewise, check that all microchip information is current.
2. Take a picture of your pet so that you have a current photo just in case.
3. Earlier in the day, take your dog for a walk or run (but be vigilant about the summer’s heat and don’t overdo it). Exercise will help calm him and tire him out before the fireworks start.
4. Don’t take your pet to firework festivities or set off fireworks around your pet. Keep your pet indoors where he is safe; if possible, bring your outdoor pet indoors.
5. Keep exterior doors, pet doors, and windows shut to prevent a terrified pet from escaping outdoors and running away from the fireworks.
6. Lower blinds and cover windows so the bright lights of the fireworks don’t distress your pet.
7. Make sure your pet has a safe place in an interior room where he can retreat. Your pet may prefer a small, enclosed area to “hide” when he’s scared.
8. Place your pet’s favorite toys or familiar blankets nearby for comfort.
9. Turn on a calming television show, soothing music, or even a fan to help block out some of the firework noise.
10. Provide your dog with a safe chew toy to distract him and ease anxiety (and make sure cords are out of the way so they don’t become chew toys).