Fourth Of July Warnings
Fireworks displays will illuminate the skies during Fourth of July celebrations. As we enjoy these holiday festivities, it’s important for us to remember that this can be a very traumatic time for our pets. Loud noises can frighten animals, causing them to panic and even run away from home. In fact, animal shelters across the country report an increased number of lost animal companions after fireworks displays.
“Every year, dogs and cats escape from their yards or homes in fear during the holiday festivities,” says Keri Fennell, Marin Humane Society director of shelter services. “Some pets become lost or wind up at the Humane Society.”
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday for you and your pet.
Keep your pets indoors during fireworks displays. A quiet, sheltered “den-like” retreat is best. Close windows and curtains and turn on the TV or radio to help drown out some of the noise. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure to remove any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful if chewed.
Make sure your pets are wearing current identification and tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned to you promptly.
Never take your dog to a fireworks display. It’s usually hot. There are always large crowds. And the dogs really don’t enjoy it.
Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a tether. Pets who normally wouldn’t try to leave the yard may panic and try to escape. Dogs may become entangled in their tethers or hang themselves if they try to leap over a fence. To avoid injury, keep your pets indoors.
Other ways to help your pets
If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by the sounds of fireworks, consult with your veterinarian in advance. Your vet may recommend a fast-acting anti-anxiety medication. The key is to give the medications before the noise starts — they are less effective if you wait until the dog is already stressed.
And if, despite your best efforts, your pet does become lost, don’t panic. Check inside garages, yards, storage sheds, basements, closets, under cars and in the shrubbery at your home and throughout the neighborhood.
Courtesy of the Marin Humane Society.