North Shore Animal League America wants to remind pet owners about safety over the upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend. It’s important to remember that the noisy lightshow could prove stressful for our pets. Here are some tips that will help you and your pet enjoy a safe holiday:
Never take your pets to a fireworks display:
Fireworks displays can be great fun, but not for your pets. The loud noises and bright lights can terrify an animal. Even the best-behaved dog may react with fear and try to flee from the scene, which can lead him right into traffic or get him lost.
Give your pets a safe and quiet retreat:
If your pets get spooked by the Fourth of July festivities, it’s important that they have a safe and quiet place to relax. Whether you secure a room of the house or blanketed crate, they should have someplace “den-like” to retreat to. Draw the curtains to block out the lightshow, and try putting the TV or radio on at a low volume as a distraction or as company for them if you go out. Make sure to KEEP THEM INSIDE for their own protection.
Create a problem-free environment:
If you decide to go out and leave your pets at home, it’s a good idea to pet-proof your home. A nervous animal can become destructive, so it’s best to clear the area of anything he may ingest or hurt himself on if he becomes frantic or nervous. If you know your pet doesn’t react to fireworks well, try not to leave him unattended. Make sure windows and doors are secured in case they try to break-out. If your pet has extreme fear of fireworks, you may want to consult with your vet for some relaxation ideas.
Monitor what your pet eats and drinks:
If you are entertaining guests, make sure to let them know not to feed your pets party food or beverages of any kind. Many foods are harmful to pets, and your guests may not be aware of this. It is also hard to monitor how much your pets are eating in a social setting. So to avoid illness, it’s best to let everyone know not to feed them any party fare.
Use distraction techniques:
If you are home with your pet and he is exhibiting nervous behavior like whimpering or pacing, try distracting him with his favorite toys, games or snacks. Too much coddling may make your pet suspect that there is something to be afraid of.
Make sure your pet is identifiable:
In the instance that your pet runs off in a frantic frenzy, it’s imperative to make sure that his collar is on with his identification tags. Secure the collar so that your pet can’t squeeze out if it. You should be able to fit two fingers underneath the collar so that it’s roomy enough for comfort and snug enough for safety. If your pet runs off, you want to try to ensure his return.
Watch out for Independence Day debris:
When you let your pets out or take them for walks the day after, remember that the streets and your yard are likely to be littered with fireworks debris. These may seem like tasty treats or fun things to nibble on to your pets. Make sure to clean up before letting your companions out to rummage through it.
For more summertime pet safety tips, visit www.AnimalLeague.org.