This helpful info is reposted from last year with a few additions. Please read and keep your pets safe this entire holiday weekend!
I’m as patriotic as the next guy and certainly appreciate the history and sentiment of our national Independence Day celebration. However, as a pet guardian, the Fourth of July is my least-favorite holiday because of the fear and terror the associated fireworks cause my dog and many other pets.
It’s reported that July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters around the country which are often packed that day with frightened companion animals who ran away the night before during those fireworks.
I’ve put together a set of tips for pet owners to help keep your dogs and cats safe this upcoming holiday weekend. I want to especially thank the extremely knowledgeable and talented Kelley Filson, CTC, of Filson Dog School for providing the puppy and older-dog tips.
For all dogs and cats
- Stay home with your pet if you don’t yet know how they react to fireworks or if you have past experience with them reacting badly.
- Keep inside from mid-afternoon on and with a ID tag just in case they get outside.
- Block outside sights and sounds by lowering the blinds and turning on a television, radio or fan to muffle outside sounds
- Avoid giving or allowing guests to give your pets human food – it can be dangerous. Onions, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt, yeast dough, chocolate and beer are all possible hazards for dogs and cats, to name just a few.
- Remember the food and fireworks are around all weekend and even into the following week so make sure you don’t stop being vigilant on July 5th.
- Don’t leave them alone.
- Don’t bring them to firework shows
- Don’t hold or hug to comfort – it makes them feel stuck.
- Do exercise your puppy vigorously in the afternoon.
- Do be inside by 4 or 5pm before the fireworks start.
- Do give your puppy access to a safe, dark, den-like small place to hide.
- If your dog wants to hide let them hide- it’s a normal response when animals are scared.
- Provide background noise (radio, TV, fan) to dull the sudden booms.
- Consider a food puzzle like a kong or bone to keep the dog busy.
For older dogs known to be afraid of loud noises
- Begin increasing your pets regular adequate exercise several days beforehand.
- Consider traveling to a place with your dog where fireworks are discouraged or illegal.
- Talk to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medications for your dog BUT avoid medications containing ACE (Ace Promazine) which is thought to increase sensitivity to sounds.
- Consider a Thunder Shirt, an anxiety wrap available at pet supply stores.
Please comment below if you have additional tips that have worked for you.
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