Fireworks and Pets: The Do’s and Don’ts
By Jenny Stout from Trips with Pets
Your human family members might “Ooh” and “Aah” at the fireworks this Fourth of July, but what about your pet? This holiday is one of the most distressing, and possibly dangerous, annual events for pets. What is a cause for celebration for you can be source of anxiety for your pet.
Here’s what to do, and what not to do, when it comes to fireworks and your pet:
Don’t Assume All Noise Is Created Equal
Many pet parents think that their pet will not be affected by fireworks if he or she is normally fine during thunderstorms, or when other loud noises are present. However, this is not necessarily the case. Even pets who are calm, cool and collected when it’s thundering, or when a loud motorcycle goes by, may panic during fireworks. The full effect of the sounds, excitement and noise from the people outside, and the fact that he or she is alone inside the house, can add up to stress and fear for your pet.
Don’t Leave Your Pet Outside Unattended
When frightened, pets who normally would not leave the yard may run away and become lost. If you leave your pet on a chain, he or she may become tangled up, which can lead to injury or even death.
Animal shelters across the country have reported that they take in more dogs around the Fourth of July than any other time of year. These are mostly dogs who have run away during fireworks. Additionally, many police stations report an increase in calls about stray dogs and complaints about excessive barking on the Fourth of July in relation to other days during the year.
Don’t Let Your Pet Sit in the Car Alone
Do not plan to take your pet with you to watch the fireworks. Cars can heat up in a matter of minutes, and your pet can encounter serious health problems or even death in just a short time. Cracking open the windows does not provide enough fresh air, and unfortunately only invite thieves to take your pet for themselves. Additionally, the stress that your pet may endure while sitting alone in the car during the fireworks could cause him or herto get hurt. He or she may try to hide under a seat and become trapped, or jump around and get injured. Also, a pet can become destructive when under stress, and could do damage to the interior of your car if he or she chews and scratches.
Do Allow Your Pet to Be Where He Feels Safe
It is best to keep your pet in your home, preferably with the blinds drawn and in a quiet area where he or she will be comfortable. Many pets seek safety and comfort in their crates. If your pet is not a “crate pooch” (or kitty), be sure to remove any items in the area that he or she can chew in the event he or she becomes destructive because of fear . You can also leave a TV or radio on at a neutral volume so he or she has something to keep them company while you are at festivities.
Some pets seek comfort in a bath tub, under a bed or in another small, enclosed area. If your pet fits this description, then let him or her go to their “safe spot.” Do not attempt to make him or her come out, as long as he or she is safe and secure.
Do Seek Counsel from Vet
If you’re concerned that your pet will become stressed and anxious from the loud firework noises, you may want to contact your veterinarian for suggestions of more ways to help keep him or her calm.
Do Ensure Your Pet Is Properly ID’d
Be sure your pet is wearing his or her collar with an updated ID tag, just in case he or she gets lost. This will ensure that he or she is returned to you quickly and safely.
Just like you are planning for the activities your family will participate in on the Fourth of July, be sure to also plan for your pet to ease him or her into the holiday. Take some basic, common sense steps ahead of time to make sure he or she has a happy and safe holiday !
Kim Salerno is the President and Founder of TripsWithPets.com, a pet travel guide that provides online reservations at more than 30,000 pet-friendly accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. Kim spends her free time traveling with her four-legged kids, Tucker, Charlie and Brownie.
TripsWithPets.com is the premier online pet-friendly travel guide providing online reservations at over 30,000 pet-friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. When planning a trip, pet parents go to TripsWithPets.com for detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities. TripsWithPets.com also features airline & car rental pet policies, pet-friendly activities, a user-friendly search-by-route option, as well as pet travel gear. For more information, please visit http://www.tripswithpets.com.