By: Chryssa Rich
Pets Best Insurance Marketing Associate
If your neighborhood is anything like mine, the booms and bangs of the Fourth of July celebration start a week before the official holiday. Every summer, pet owners are told to be mindful of pet health and safety during this holiday.
By following the simple tips below, you can prevent your pet from becoming what many shelters call a “July 4th pet,” or a pet that becomes frightened, runs away and ends up in a shelter.
1. Keep your pets in a quiet room.
When fireworks start going off in your neighborhood, make sure your pets are safely confined in a quiet, escape-proof area. Drawing the blinds and turning on a radio can help muffle the noise. If you’re celebrating at home, don’t assume your pets will be okay outside just because you’re there. The sudden pop of a firecracker could send them running.
2. Don’t console a frightened pet.
It sounds counterintuitive and while there is debate over the issue, consoling a frightened pet could reinforce the fearful behavior by essentially saying, “You have a reason to be afraid.” Instead, make sure your pet is in a safe area and go about your normal business. Your reaction to the fireworks will show your pet there’s nothing to fear. You can also distract your four-pawed friend with a toy and praise him or her for non-fearful behavior, like tail-wagging.
3. Make sure your pet is properly identified.
Frightened pets are much stronger than we think, and an ordinarily calm dog can bolt and break free from a leash or jump from a car with little warning. If an unexpected bang causes your pet to run, a proper collar, tags and/or microchip will give you peace of mind.
4. If you have a high-stress pet, consult your veterinarian.
If your pet usually reacts fearfully to loud sounds like thunder or garbage trucks, consult your veterinarian about pet health and ask your vet how to reduce your pet’s anxiety. Your pet’s doctor should be able to provide helpful guidelines about dog health care.
5. On the big night, leave your pets at home, inside.
Your city’s fireworks display might be at Fido’s favorite park, but he won’t like it much when the ground shakes from explosives. Before you leave, make sure your pets are safely inside an escape-proof area. Don’t underestimate the skills of a scared dog – there have been accounts of dogs pushing open doors and digging under fences to get away.
Most pet owners consider their pets to be part of their families, and it’s no fun when we have to exclude them from family events. But the 4th of July is one time pet owners really ought to put their own feelings aside and do what’s best for pet health and safety.Tags: dog health care, pet health, veterinarian