More cats and dogs go missing on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. While pet parents look forward to the cookouts, music, and fireworks, it’s terrifying for many of our furry family members.
One of my three dogs is terrified of storms, one loses it whenever there are loud noises, and one isn’t bothered by anything. Pets that suffer from storm anxiety or ones that panic around loud noises are more likely to find fireworks downright terrifying. I can verify that’s true in my home! Here are some tips to help keep them safe, reduce their stress, and prevent them from getting lost:
Research when the fireworks in yours and surrounding communities will be so you can be prepared. Some cities schedule their fireworks for the weekend before the Fourth.
Never bring pets to the fireworks. Even a pet that has never displayed any previous anxious behavior may be spooked. And obviously, never use firecrackers, sparklers, or any other type of fireworks with pets nearby.
Many pets will try to flee to find shelter, including jumping fences, so keep pets indoors during festivities and fireworks. Close the windows and draw the blinds.
Ensure your pets have their collars on and that ID tags/microchip information is up to date.
If your pets use ThunderShirts or medication for storms, consider using them for firework time as well.
Make sure you have a current photo of your pets, just in case.
Have a frozen treat ready at fireworks time. For dogs, fill a Kong with peanut butter and freeze it overnight. Pull it out as a distraction during the loud bangs.
If your pets have a safe place they like to hang out, have it prepared. Many pets like their crates, so have the door open and ready.
If you’re having a party, keep alcohol, charcoal, lighter fluid, citronella insect spray, and glow sticks away from pets as they can be ingested and cause severe health problems.
Hopefully, these pet safety tips will help keep your four-legged family members safe while making the holiday more enjoyable.