However you celebrate July 4th, pet safety should be a top priority. Fireworks often scare animals, and it can be a very traumatic night for them. Follow these important pet safety tips to keep animals safe and calm on July 4th.
Skip taking your pets to fireworks displays.
Dogs love to get out in public with their people, but very few animals enjoy the sights and sounds of fireworks. Your pets’ hearing is much more sensitive than yours. The threatening noise combined with the bright flashes of light sends most animals into panic mode. And, they run to get away. Keeping pets indoors helps them feel protected, so refrain from letting them outside during these times.
Bring pets indoors.
Even if you have a fenced yard, bring your pets inside. Fireworks may stress your pets so much that they will try to jump the fence or dig under it to get away from the chaos.
Keep home celebrations safe.
If celebrating with friends, remember that stressful environments can cause your pet to behave differently than normal. This is also not the ideal time to introduce your pet to new people or other pets. A familiar routine and environment will help keep them feeling comfortable. Also be mindful of any unfamiliar food being given to your pet during a home celebration or cookout.
Create a calm environment.
The sound of fireworks causes anxiety for many pets. Keeping your cats or dogs indoors in a safe space helps them to feel protected. If your pets are crate-trained, the crate is an ideal safe space. Otherwise, confine them to one room, close doors and windows and leave some soft music on in the background to comfort them.
Here are a few more pet safety tips to help your pet during this noisy night.
- Turn on music or a television to help mute the sound of fireworks.
- Use diffusers for pet-safe essential oils.
- Schedule potty breaks and meals before the fireworks start.
- Be sure to comfort your pet.
Consider a Thundershirt® or medication from your vet.
If your dogs get anxious during thunderstorms, fireworks will really scare them! Try using a thundershirt, or talk to your vet about prescribing a sedative to help keep your pet calm.
Provide a distraction.
If you’re home during fireworks, break out your dogs’ favorite treats or provide extra cuddle time. If you’re going out, leave a long-lasting, safe treat that will distract them for a while such as a frozen Kong filled with peanut butter.
ID tags and microchips are your pet’s ticket home.
Make sure your pets are wearing identification and are microchipped, especially before July 4th. If they get lost, they can be reunited with you. Be sure to double-check the contact information on your pet’s microchip to ensure it is up-to-date. If your pet is not microchipped, LifeLine can microchip your pet for only $25.