Fireworks are the perfect ending to any 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.
Why Are Fireworks So Scary?
Imagine how startled you would be if you suddenly heard loud booms and saw bright lights but had no idea what caused them. 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.
Avoiding Firework Dangers
Because your pet has no idea what causes those terrifying sounds, he or she may try to escape from your house in an effort to get away from the noise. Unfortunately, your pet can become injured by jumping through a window and may even run out into the street and be hit by a car. 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 the show unless you are absolutely sure that he or she is not afraid of fireworks. Your pet may actually run toward the fireworks in an attempt to flee the noise or might knock over other guests.
- 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. Scared pets have been known to escape from even the most pet-proofed yard when fireworks are involved. 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. If a family member does not plan to attend the fireworks show, your dog or cat will enjoy a little company in the safe space.
- 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.
- Take a recent photograph of your pet just in case there is an escape and you need to make a flyer or post information on the Internet.
- 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.
- Make sure that fences and screens are in good repair to prevent your pet from escaping from your home during the fireworks.
- Take a road trip. If your pet is terrified of fireworks and nothing you do makes the situation more tolerable, consider leaving your pet with a friend outside the firework zone or check into a pet-friendly hotel or motel.
If your pet is afraid of fireworks or suffers from any other type of anxiety, we can help. Call us to schedule an appointment to discuss your furry friend's fears.
The Humane Society of the United States: July Fourth Fireworks: Awesome for Humans, Terrifying for Pets
ASPCA: Fourth of July Safety Tips
American Veterinary Medical Association: Fourth of July Safety