Tag Archives: fourth of july pet safety

Pet Safety Tips for Fourth of July Fireworks

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 and the Humane Society, 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).

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, pet, Pet Safety

How to Keep Pets Safe Over the 4th of July

You take your pet everywhere—to the grocery store, the drive-thru—so he’s undoubtedly coming to your Fourth of July cook-out too. Except, he probably shouldn’t. “What?” You cry. “But I wanted to show off Bentley’s star-spangled top hat! And it just isn’t a party until Lola’s muzzle-deep in the potato salad!” Although it’s hard to imagine a Fourth of July away from your pet, it might be time to (figuratively) loosen the leash, for reasons like wayward sparklers, tasty-looking lighter fuel, firecracker-curious children, and, above all, the deafening noise! Any animal sitting calmly through a fusillade of stroboscopic explosions is a strange one indeed. If you truly want to make this Independence Day enjoyable for all involved, here’s what to do:

1. Sad But True: Leave all four-legged family members at the door! Large crowds and shrieking fireworks are major stressors for pets, who may bolt blindly away and get lost. PetMD suggests sound-proofing your home (think noise-blocking curtains) for the truly noise-phobic, who might cower at the other summertime frequenter, the thunderstorm.

2. Furnish a Happy Place: About.com’s Veterinary Medicine submits that background noise, like the TV or even therapeutic dog music, provides ample distraction from the chaos outside. A kennel or a pet bed positioned strategically in the corner and away from windows acts as a sanctuary from all the “festivities” as well.

3. Let’s See Some ID: If you must venture outdoors with your pet for anything, keep him on a leash or in a pet carrier, or you’ll spend July 5th tacking “Missing Pet” signs to telephone poles. Double-check your pet’s ID tags to make certain they are up to date before the fireworks begin.

4. A Little Peace & Quiet: If you don’t mind missing the show, you and your pet can always scoot out to a more secluded place to enjoy the summer night. Somewhere rural, with a low concentration of houses and people, is preferable. Go stargazing, catch lightning bugs—bring the top hat, if you feel so inclined!

5. Noise Phobia: Consider the possibility that your pet might be noise-phobic. Veterinary Medicine lists trembling, excessive drooling, barking, howling, loss of appetite, loss of bladder or bowel control, and feverish attempts to hide in or escape from its enclosure as symptoms. If you suspect your pet might be noise-phobic, consult a veterinarian for treatment. With every new storm system that moves through your area, your pet develops the potential to exhibit worse and worse symptoms and behaviors.

Bottom line—don’t involve your pets in Fourth of July festivities. Playing frisbee is all well and good, but the moment the fireworks go off, the party will be over for your pet. Do your best to keep him comfortable, safe, and, most importantly, at home. After all, it’s only for one night!

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Filed under Dogs, Pet Safety