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July 4th Firework Safety And Tips for Your Pets

When we think of the 4th of July, we think of hot dogs, hamburgers and of course, beautiful fireworks. However, this is a holiday that may not be so fun for your pets. Your pets don’t see fireworks as beautiful. The intense sound of fireworks for dogs and cats can cause them great anxiety. The loud sounds, the sparks of light and the not knowing where it’s coming from or when it will happen again, can make your furry friend uneasy. This level of stress can increase their heart rate, cause them to experience an adrenaline rush and increase their stress hormones. Today, let’s talk about some firework safety tips you can practice for your pets.

What can be done to help your pet when faced with this type of situation?

  1. You can play pre-recorded sounds of fireworks for your pet so that they will sense the familiarity of the sound. Although this may sound easy, this is a timely process because you have to start with a low volume gradually increasing it to the volume of an actual firework which could potentially take a few months.
  2. Help your dog feel as though fireworks are a pleasant experience. This can be done by giving your pet a treat every few fireworks which will help them think that fireworks are positive and won’t hurt them.
  3. Something as simple as turning on some soft music and moving your pet into an interior room with no windows can be helpful.
  4. An anxiety vest may work in some cases such as a Thunder Shirt —if you don’t have one, try a snugly fitting t-shirt.
  5. If your pet likes his crate, consider placing him in his crate for the night.  This is his safe space and can provide great comfort for him.
  6.  If you and your veterinarian do decide that anti-anxiety medication is your pet’s best bet, there are a few things to remember. First and foremost, give a practice dose of the medication before the big night to see how your pet responds to the medication. Second, never share the medication with another pet or give more than the recommended amount. If you do, you may end up spending the holiday at your local veterinary emergency clinic.
  7. While noise phobias are not as common in cats, they can and do happen. Fortunately, cats tend to hide when frightened. Checking in on your cats, having some quiet music on and keeping them indoors during the height of the fireworks is always a good idea.
  8. If you plan to go to a BBQ or holiday party, leave your pets at home! Your home is safe and there’s nowhere to run if they get scared at home, unless it’s under your bed.
For the curious pet who likes to tastes new things…

While cats are typically a little smarter than this, some dogs will eat anything, regardless of how it tastes—including fireworks! Never underestimate your pet’s level of curiosity. Fireworks contain several types of chemicals and heavy metals. If you set off fireworks at home, make sure you thoroughly clean up the area before letting your dog have access again.

Did you know???

The 4th of July is the number one day of the year that most pets become lost!  In preparation for the festivities, be sure to do the following to keep your pets safe at home.

  • Be sure they are wearing a collar with proper and up to date identification.
  • Bring in all outdoor pets. This will prevent them from running out of fear of fireworks.
  • Be sure to update your pet’s microchip information. Should they run, this is the #1 way to help them find their way home.
  • Be sure to have updated photos of all your pets. This way should they get lost, you can prove they are yours.

Remember… One of the most important factors for the pet owner is to stay calm. Our pets look to us when they are unsure of a situation and if we are nervous, they are nervous. If we are calm, they are calm. Fourth of July is a holiday that is meant to celebrate our country with our family, including our pets. Make sure to make this a pleasant experience for everyone and enjoy your holiday!

Looking for Dog Walking or Pet Sitting Services over the holidays.  Be sure to contact us for more information!

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