Fireworks are NOT fun for pets. Here are a few tips to help keep your pets safe through the holiday:
- Keep your pet home and inside in a safe, comforting space. Loud noises, unfamiliar places, and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, causing them to get spooked and run away. Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks. Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks. If your pet is already crate trained, that would be the ideal. If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Placing notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your guests remain vigilant.
2. More pets go missing on 4th of July than any other holiday. Make sure your pet has identification, preferably a permanent ID, such as a microchip. A microchip, a device the size of a grain of rice, is implanted under your pet’s skin and has a unique set of numbers to identify who your pet belongs to. This simple procedure greatly improves the chances of your missing pet returning to you. If your pet is already microchipped, make sure your most up-to-date contact is listed with the company. If you’ve recently moved or have a new phone number, make sure to update your information.
3. Use distractions from the noise of fireworks. A kong filled with his favorite treat (pro tip: freeze it and it will last longer) or calming music (pro tip: search for music for dogs on pandora or spotify). It doesn’t have to be loud to be effective.
4. Talk to your vet about productions or medications to help ease anxiety. Thundershirts are vests specifically designed to apply constant, gentle pressure, similar to swaddling an infant. For dogs that are especially anxious during loud noises, sometimes they can cause harm to themselves. An anxious dog may break a tooth or toe nail on a crate door. Likewise, dogs with existing medical conditions such as heart problems, may experience adverse medical complications from the stress. These dogs may need medications to help keep them calm during fireworks. Talk to your veterinarian about prescription anti-anxiety medications.