While Independence Day celebrations can be fun for people, the festivities can be frightening and dangerous for animals. Noisy fireworks and other celebrations can startle companion animals and cause them to run away. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “July 5th is historically one of the busiest days for animal shelters after frightened pets escape from houses and yards.”
While some companion animals don’t appear to be fazed by fireworks, it is natural for them to be afraid of loud bangs. In response to fireworks, dogs in particular may tremble, shake, shiver, howl and bark. Veterinarian Dr. Judy Morgan attributes these reactions to the smell, noise and flashes of light. In order to minimize your companion animal’s discomfort this Fourth of July, it is important to take action beforehand.
What can you do to prepare your companion animals for fireworks?
- If applicable, take your pet on a long walk before the sun sets and the fireworks begin;
- Feed your pet a good meal well before the fireworks;
- Ensure your pet is chipped and wearing an ID with current information so that if they do run away there is a greater chance of them being returned to you;
- Create a safe and calming environment where your pet will feel more comfortable. Veterinarians recommend an area in a quiet space away from the windows, such as the basement or their crate, so that they can’t hear or see fireworks;
- Comfort your pet by staying home with them or leaving them in the hands of a trusted person;
- Play white noise by leaving a fan, TV or radio on to help mask the sounds of the fireworks; and lastly,
- Don’t take your pets to firework shows or leave them outside during fireworks displays.
Wishing you a very happy and safe Fourth of July from all of us at NAVS.