You have probably heard of the town in Italy that switched to silent firework shows to help the town’s pets better cope with the booms and blast of traditional fireworks. But did you know there aren’t really “silent fireworks?” Until they invent truly silent firework shows there are other steps you can take to keep your fur family safe and calm this year while you enjoy hotdogs, sparklers, and other holiday favorites. From beer to bugs, the Fourth of July has a long list of stresses and dangers that pet parents can watch for to keep tails wagging and kitties purring. As you celebrate your patriotic love of America, you can take these measures to keep your patriotic pups, cats, and other pets safe.
Here are some of the most common questions regarding the Fourth of July and pet dangers. We tried to answer some questions you may have and suggest ways you can help keep your pet safe this Independence Day!
1. Should I Bring My Dog Along for the Celebration?
Between crowds, noise, and handouts, it’s best to let your best buddy try to relax at home. The Fourth of July can be quite stressful and any means to keep your dog’s routine the same can help reduce your pup’s anxiety.
2. How Do I Help Keep My Canine Companion Comfortable During the Firework Shows?
Mutt earmuffs for noise protection don’t quite cut it. While there are products on the market for noise protection for pups, we find very few dogs are willing to keep them on. So, how can you keep your pup calm, cool, and collected while fireworks blast near and far?
Try playing your dog or cat some relaxing music. If your dog takes medication for noise anxiety (like thunderstorms), be sure to medicate her before the shows begin. If you’re having guests over, a nervous dog may be better off crated in a quiet room away from the excitement.
3. How Do I Keep My Pet Safe During the Excitement of the Holiday?
If you’re having guests over, be sure to prepare them with your pet-friendly policies before they arrive. These should include:
- Don’t leave any doors leading out open: The Fourth of July is the busiest time of year for shelters. They receive more cats and dogs on July 5th than any other time of the year. The blasts of fireworks confuse and can disorient pets making them more vulnerable to becoming lost. Closing the door also reduces noise inside.
- This is also a great time of year to double-check that your pet’s microchip is up to date or having your pet microchipped if you haven’t done it yet. Make sure your pet’s ID is also current.
- Human food can cause pets to have upset stomachs and lead to potential poisoning. Keep pet treats handy for guests and let them know how many you feel comfortable letting your pet have.
- Do not leave used or unused fireworks, lighter fluid, glow sticks/jewelry, or citronella products within reach of your pets. The same is true if you’re grilling: be very careful if hot food falls on the ground that your dog doesn’t gobble it up. Always keep an eye on your dog or cat to make sure they don’t accidentally bump into the grill as well.
- Don’t let your dog or cat drink alcoholic beverages. This can result in your dog or cat becoming intoxicated and in some cases lead to coma or death.
- Sunscreen and bug sprays are made for people—let’s keep it that way. While we would suggest using zinc-free, dog-friendly sunblock to keep your dog’s adorable nose from getting sunburned, products made for humans can get your dog sick since their immediate response will probably be to lick it off.
After the celebrations slow to a few stray fireworks in the distance, survey your yard for any remnants of fireworks or other things you don’t want your pet to play with or eat. Kids drop food and there may be wrappers here and there. Keep this in mind when you walk your dog the next day, too.
4. Know Your Pet and When to Ask for Help
Sometimes precautionary measures are just not enough, and the noise and bustle of the holiday are too much for our four-legged companions to handle. Give us a call – there are a variety of medications and remedies that can help in easing this extra stress on your pet. We’re happy to help.
Happy Fourth of July from our clinic and staff!