We all look forward to Independence Day as a time filled with great family-oriented fun and fireworks. For our four-legged friends, however, the fourth can be a frightful time. July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters as pets who fled in fear the night before are found miles from home, disoriented and exhausted. Loud sounds, such as Fourth of July fireworks, can be utterly terrifying for our furry friends. Anxious families often find themselves searching the streets and shelters looking for a treasured family member whose fear drove him to jump a high fence or break a leash.
Thankfully, with a little care and precaution, we can help ensure that the fourth of July is not only fun for people, but also safe for our beloved pets. We ask you to keep the following guidelines in mind to keep the four-legged members of your family safe and sound:
- Your pets won’t enjoy the fireworks display, so leave them at home! Keep them inside in a secure environment, shielded from loud noises. Keep windows closed and draw the shades to minimize the sound and flashes of light.
- If you’re home with your companion animal, act calm and give them reassuring pets and hugs… animals look to you to see how you’re reacting.
- Make sure your pets are microchipped, or at least have up-to-date identification tags affixed to their collars. If your pet does get lost, you are much more likely to be reunited with them if they have proper identification with your correct contact information.
- If you are hosting guests, remind them to remain vigilant and make sure your pet doesn’t escape. You may consider keeping the animal in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
- During the celebrations, keep sparklers, alcoholic beverages, food and other potentially hazardous items out of your pet’s reach.
- If you think your pets should be tranquilized, consult your veterinarian well in advance.
- Contact an animal behaviorist to work with your pets on their fears. With some positive reinforcement and behavior modification training, by next Independence Day, you all may be worry-free!
By following these safety tips, you can relieve your pet of stress and panic during the holiday celebrations to have a fun and accident-free Independence Day celebration.