July 4th for many is a time to enjoy friends, family, warm summer weather, barbecuing, and renewed feelings of patriotism. However, Independence Day celebrations aren’t always fun and games for our pets. The loud noises created by fireworks can cause dogs and cats to panic, tear up the house, or worse: run away!
In order to ensure that everyone, including our pets, has an enjoyable 4th of July, here are some practical safety tips:
- Even if you have pets who are usually very calm, refrain from taking them with you to watch fireworks or to large parties. There are too many distractions and loud noises that can confuse your pet and cause him to panic and bolt. To avoid the awkward situation of having to chase down your terrified pet, save you and your pets the trouble and just leave them home where they feel safe!
- While your pets are home, leave on the TV or play some music. This background noise will make them feel more comfortable and less shocked by the sounds of fireworks going off outside.
- If you think your dogs will be scared by the loud noises outside, provide a chew toy or special treat to distract them. You may also want to talk to your pet’s veterinarian or animal behavior specialist about short term medication or other options that could calm an overly stressed pet.
- Make sure you have updated photos of your pets so that if there are any escapes during the 4th of July confusion, you’ll have pictures that you can post on missing pet fliers. Obviously, we don’t want to have any runaway pets, but if your pet does run, having a photo ready will help you find him sooner! In the case of a runaway, search the websites of animal shelters closest to you to see if they’ve posted a picture of your pet. Animal shelters often post pictures when new animals come into their facility.
- Remember that scared cats can stay in hiding for a long time, until they feel that they are no longer in danger. If your cat runs off, keep putting out food and water that will be ready for her when she decide it’s safe to come home.
- If you have your pet outside with you on the 4th of July, keep in mind that many products that humans use aren’t safe for our furry friends. Use only insect repellent and sunscreen that are specially made for pets. Keep pets away from citronella insect control products, glow jewelry, lighter fluid, and alcoholic drinks. And if you are grilling outdoors, remember that paws and whiskers are easily burned!
Even though the 4th of July can be a confusing and stressful time for our pets, these tips can help it to be an enjoyable day for everyone! We hope you have a happy and safe Independence Day!
~ The Paws PR Team