While begging for hot dogs might seem like the perfect dog day, what comes after on July 4th isn’t so K9 or Feline friendly. At night the bangs and screeching of fireworks elevate your pets’ fight-or-flight drive. This can cause them to panic, wet the floor, tear up things, try to escape, run, or exhibit other distressed behavior. Be Aware! This is the busiest time of year at shelters Nationwide. Even if your dog or cat has never tried to escape or run, this may be the time. They may seem fine and then suddenly bolt out an open door or gate. Fireworks can start days in advance, so use our tips as soon as needed. You can help your dogs and cats stay cool and safe this day of independence. Here’s how:
- Check that your pets collars are secure, with up-to-date, readable pet ID tags. Call to verify that their microchips have your current contact information.
- Keep your pet inside!
- Turn on the TV or loud music to minimize outside sounds.
- Don’t coddle dogs when they are scared – that rewards scared behavior. Talk in a normal voice, act indifferent to the sounds.
- Give your dog a special food-stuffed toy or long-lasting chew treat, to keep their mind focused on that, not the noises.
- Give your dog his or her normal “big” exercise session every day. Exercise helps relieve stress.
- If you know your pet gets highly distressed during fireworks, talk to your vet about possible short-term medication.
- Keep doors closed – and, if possible, keep pets locked out of rooms where a door to the outside might be opened.
- If at all possible, do not leave your pets alone, especially outside, during these events. If you must leave them alone, leave them inside with a TV or radio playing.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!