Safely Celebrate Independence Day
Fourth of July is a fun time of year for the family, but not always for the family pet. Though beautiful and awe-inspiring to people, fireworks are notoriously terrifying for dogs. Some dogs become so fearful they jump fences, tear through screens, and can even break through windows while trying to escape. Imagine the horror of coming home from a fun-filled day and realizing your pet is nowhere to be found. This phenomenon is not exclusive to dogs; cats can also become fearful and quickly disappear. Here are some tips to help you and your pet safely enjoy the Fourth of July.
The sound of fireworks can be scary for many animals! If you can hear fireworks from your home, try to keep your pets inside in a quiet, cool, well-ventilated room with a radio or TV playing softly in the background. Make sure it is not a room they can easily escape from, and be sure to draw any window shades. A crate also works well. Don’t leave pets in the yard or loose indoors with windows or doors open, even when fitted with screens. They may attempt to escape when scared. Additionally, tuckering them out with playtime during the day can help them sleep soundly through the loud noises.
Never take your pet to a fireworks display, and never leave them in a hot car while you enjoy the festivities. Animals can succumb to heat stroke faster than you realize.
Talk with your veterinarian ahead of time if your animal is prone to anxiety. If you are leaving town, be sure to alert your pet-sitter of your animal’s possible anxiety and give him/her directions accordingly.
Later on in the week, be on the lookout for possible firework debris when walking your dog, and be aware that people may continue using their leftover fireworks in the days following the Fourth of July.
If at a barbeque, keep animals away from food scraps and alcohol. Be sure to also supervise them around swimming pools and lakes. Don’t lose track of their activities while you’re celebrating. It may help to take an extra-long walk in the morning to tire them out during the festivities.
Do not decorate pets with glow sticks as they might mistake them for chew toys. Similarly, be aware of your other Fourth of July decorations and how they could affect (or even harm) your pet.
Fourth of July weekend is the number one weekend every year for lost animals! Make sure your pet’s identification tags have up-to-date information so they can be promptly returned to you if they become lost, and that their microchip is registered at found.org. Fireworks often cause pets to bolt and become confused and lost. In the instance that your pet does get lost, it’s helpful to have taken an up-to-date photo ahead of time for social media and posters.
Just like the rest of the summer, be sure to keep your pets cool and hydrated during July’s hot weather!