Imagine how startled you would be if you suddenly heard loud booms and saw bright lights but had no idea where it was coming from. Although your family may eagerly anticipate fireworks every year, your pet has no idea that your usually peaceful home will soon be disrupted by loud, frightening noises. 

Keep Your Pets Safe During Fireworks Season

Fireworks are the perfect summer celebration, but while you are oohing and aahing as the night sky lights up, your dog or cat may be cowering in fear. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your furry friend safe, calm and happy during a fireworks show. Whether your pet’s anxiety is caused by fireworks or other events and issues, there are a few things you can do to make your furry friend more comfortable, including:

Desensitization

Play a recording of fireworks or other loud sounds that scare your pet for a few seconds. Reward your dog or cat with a treat after you turn off the recording. Gradually increase the amount of time that you play the sounds to help your pet adjust to loud noises.

Socialization

Expose puppies and kittens to a variety of situations when they are young to help reduce phobias and anxiety.

Medication

Talk to your pet’s veterinarian about medications that will help calm your pet.

Avoiding Firework Dangers

Because your pet has no idea what causes those terrifying sights and sounds, they may try to escape from your house in an effort to get away from the noise. But you can keep your pet safe by following these tips when it’s time for the local fireworks display.

  • Do not take your pet to a firework show unless you are absolutely sure that they are not afraid of fireworks. 
  • If you are setting off fireworks in your yard, or if you live in ear shot of a fireworks show, do not leave your pet outside – even in a secured and fenced yard. The best place for pets is inside.
  • Find the quietest room in your house, and put your pet’s food, water, bed or crate in the room, along with a few toys. Turn on the TV or play some music to help mask the sounds of the fireworks. Be sure the door latches firmly when you leave the room. 
  • Put a collar and tags on your dog or cat. The tags will help ensure that your pet returns home if there is an escape. Make sure that the information on tags is current. For maximum peace of mind, microchip your pet too. Since microchips are placed under your pet’s skin, they can never be lost, unlike collars and tags.
  • Do not leave your pet in the car if you are attending a fireworks show. The temperature inside your car can rise to dangerous levels in as little as 10 minutes. Your pet may also damage your car in an attempt to escape.
  • Keep your pet inside until you clean up the remnants of the fireworks if you plan to hold a backyard show. Fireworks contain a variety of heavy metals, including arsenic and potassium nitrate that can harm your pet’s health.

If your pet is afraid of fireworks or suffers from any other type of anxiety, we can help. Reach out to schedule an appointment to discuss your furry friend’s fears, papillionanimalhospital.com/contact/.

Sources:

ASPCA: Fourth of July Safety Tips
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/fourth-july-safety-tips

American Veterinary Medical Association: Fourth of July Safety
https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/July-4-Safety.aspx

 American Kennel Club
https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/coping-with-loud-noises/