4th of July Pet Safety
With Independence Day just around the corner, people are stocking up on red, white, and blue decorations, cracking open cold sodas, and gearing themselves up for fun in the sun, fireworks, and barbecues. Sadly, the 4th of July for pets underscores that pets and fireworks don’t mix. Following some basic 4th of July pet safety tips can make the holiday more enjoyable for everyone. The most important thing is to use common sense, and remember that a bit of planning ahead will ensure that you and your pet have a fun, safe day celebrating together. Here are some tips to help you have fun without putting your pet at risk:
General 4th of July Pet Safety
Keep your pets indoors. Pets can be injured by stray fireworks or frightened by loud noises. If they escape from home, they could be picked up by animal control or get lost or injured. Bring your pet inside during the night so they don’t have to deal with sudden loud noises or bright lights. If your pet is stressed, try noise-canceling headphones designed for pets that help to reduce noise exposure, a close-fitting Thundershirt or harness, or wrap them in a weighted blanket. You can also try playing soothing classical music in the background to calm them down if they do get anxious during their indoor confinement period.
- Make sure your pets have identification tags on them at all times. If they escape, tags can help them be returned home safely. Also, be sure your pet is microchipped so if they do get loose without their collar and tags, they can be identified and quickly returned home.
- Don’t leave your pets outside when there are fireworks going off. Your pet could get burned by sparks or embers that fly off the fireworks. Even if fireworks are not being used around you, they can still be dangerous to your furry friend. The loud noises will scare them, and they may run away or get injured trying to escape the noise.
- If your pet has an anxiety disorder or fear of loud noises, plan to keep them inside in a quiet interior room away from doors and windows so they don’t hurt themselves trying to get away from the noises. Make sure they have food, water, a bed, and toys for comfort.
- Don’t bring your pet to crowded events where loud noises are expected. Pets may become anxious or frightened by the loud noises, which could lead to a panicky reaction. If you must bring your pet to an event, make sure they are on a leash and under your control at all times.
How to Spot Signs of Stress
The most common sign of stress in pets is when they try to escape the noise by hiding under furniture or in closets. If you see your pet doing this, try to distract them with toys or treats. Other signs of stress include excessive panting, scratching at ears or face, pacing, or trembling. If your pet shows any signs of stress, take them into a quieter room immediately until the noise stops, turn on soothing music, and stay close by your pet to reassure them that they are safe.
All in all, the Fourth of July is a time to celebrate with friends and family. And while we’re glad you and your pet have each other, remember to take these simple safety precautions to ensure that your festivities go off without a hitch for you and your pet. Have a happy (and safe) 4th of July!
If you have a pet that suffers from anxiety due to fireworks, thunderstorms, and other causes, consult your veterinarian. If your pet does get scared or injured by fireworks, contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. Find an AZPetVet location near you.