Independence Day is a beloved celebration for so many Americans. Sadly, the noise, crowds, and festivities can be scary – or even dangerous – for our pets. In fact, it’s rare to find a pet that doesn’t react to fireworks or noisy, crowded events by hiding, trembling, becoming destructive, or worse, fleeing the situation in an attempt to escape the source of their anxiety and fear.
First Things First
The day after July 4th is the busiest of the year for animal shelters. With so many pets trying, and succeeding, to escape their homes during a fireworks display, it’s worth being prepared in advance.
- Make sure both dogs and cats are wearing collars with up-to-date ID tags.
- If you haven’t had your pet microchipped yet, do so now! Collars and tags can come off, and microchipping is your pet’s best chance of being reunited with you should they become lost.
- Be sure that you have registered your pet’s microchip with your current contact information. Update that info now, if you haven’t since your last move.
- Take photos of your pets, just in case.
Pet-Safe July 4th
Just because you share a home with a scaredy-cat (or dog) doesn’t mean that your festivities should be off limits. The following tips can help you and your pet enjoy the holiday as much as possible.
Keep pets indoors – Make sure pets are inside during a fireworks display, and don’t bring them to public 4th of July events. The crowds and noises can be very frightening to even the most docile pets, and the risks of aggression and escape are high.
Create a safe place – Close doors and windows ahead of a fireworks display. Crate-trained pets might feel safer inside their crates, while others prefer to roam freely throughout the house. If you’re having a party or your pet is prone to destructive behavior, set up a “safe room” for them, furnished with their bedding, toys, water, and a fan or radio to drown out noise.
Reduce anxiety – Exercise your pet ahead of the festivities to tire them out and reduce nervous energy. Stay near an anxious pet to offer verbal and physical reassurance. Many pet owners have found success with a pressure-based anxiety garment like the Thundershirt.
Party safety – Even social pets can fall victim to food poisoning or intestinal obstruction at a party or barbecue. Keep all food away from pets, keep alcoholic beverages out of reach, throw trash away in a covered bin immediately, and put leftovers away as soon as you’re done eating. Keep sparklers and glow sticks away from pets, and make sure they are not near the grill while it’s in use.
For more pet-safe 4th of July tips, or for any other questions regarding your pet, don’t hesitate to contact the staff at Shiloh Veterinary Hospital.