As the 4th of July approaches, it’s important to remember that our furry friends experience these celebrations differently. This holiday is fun for us but can be the worst day imaginable for some cats and dogs. The loud noises from fireworks can cause stress to our pets and result in unwanted situations. Frightened, panicked pets tend to bolt and run far away from whatever scared them, leading to lots of lost pets. In fact, more pets go missing on July 4th than at any other time of the year, making July 5th the busiest day of the year for animal shelters nationwide.
Here are a few simple tips for a stress-free, safe day for both you and your pets:
Microchip and ID your pets. Having an up-to-date microchip and collar with an ID tag can make a HUGE difference if your pet were to escape and get lost. Even if your pet is an indoor-only pet, they should still wear a collar and ID tag. They can become frightened during fireworks and try to escape. Ensure your microchip information and ID tags are up-to-date with current contact information. Tags are available at most pet stores and even many Walmart locations.
Work them out. Giving your pets lots of exercise during the day can help so they’ll be worn out once the fireworks start. A tired pet is a calmer pet and can help with stress and anxiety levels.
Keep them indoors. Loud sounds can scare your pets, causing them to run away. Put them in a cozy spot well before the fireworks start. No matter how much fun it sounds, leave your pets are home for the firework show.
Provide a safe, quiet place. Help them feel safer in a quiet room or crate that is escape-proof. Try blocking out the light from outside.
Provide distractions. Focus their attention on things such as toys, treats, music, etc. Use TV or radio to mask the noises outside. Consider a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter or a fun cat nip toy.
Ask a veterinarian for help. Some pets are more terrified of fireworks than others. There are medications and techniques that might help with your pet’s fear and anxiety. If your pet’s anxiety is severe, it might be helpful to book an appointment with your vet well in advance of the holiday to discuss how to help your fur baby.
Do your pets a favor and make sure they are well-protected and safe so they’re with you for many years to come!