We love to share moments with our furry friends, but on the Fourth of July, your pet may not be in a celebrating mood. With the Fourth of July festivities comes fireworks, and these loud, unexpected noises and bursting lights could upset your pets. HomeFirst® Agency cares about your family, including your four-legged members. If fireworks are not your pet's favorite, these tips will have tails wagging in no time!
Before the Fireworks Start
Getting exercise can help your pet burn off energy before the evening. If you can, take your dog for a walk or go out in the backyard for a game of fetch. Do you have smaller indoor pets like cats, ferrets or hedgehogs? Get out their toys and play. Fitting in some extra activity can tire pets out and help them relax later.
If you have any pets that are outside, bring them in the house or garage if you are able. They will be safer and less likely to escape or injure themselves if they are inside before the loud noises startle them. While indoors, shut the blinds and give them a safe, familiar space. You can give extra bedding for rodents or rabbits for them to burrow in or hide under. Dogs and cats should have their beds and toys available. If they are crated, adding something like an old T-shirt with your scent can also be reassuring.
If you can’t move the animals inside, cover their cages or crates with blankets so they won’t see the flashes. The blankets can also reduce the sounds, but check to make sure they have enough ventilation with the cages covered.
Fireworks could be so distressing to some pets that they escape their homes or yards in attempts to get away from all the noise. As the Fourth of July comes closer, it could be a good idea to make sure they have updated identification on them. That way you can be contacted should your pet run away.
During the Fireworks
If you are a new pet owner or know your pet fears fireworks, a good suggestion is to not leave them alone. You may decide to celebrate at home or arrange a pet sitter for that evening. Having someone there can be comforting for them and can help you make sure they don’t hurt themselves or damage your home when scared.
In addition to making a safe place for your pet, you can make them more comfortable in several ways. Playing music or the TV can further reduce the noises outside. Cuddling your pet — if they want it — and reassuring them may help. Giving them treats or favorite toys can also distract them.
After the Fireworks Have Fizzled
If the celebration was at your house, make sure to clean up any firework debris you find and don’t leave extra fireworks lying out. Your pet could accidentally ingest this debris, and fireworks are full of chemicals that could harm animals. Even if your neighbors were the ones shooting fireworks, check your yard for any pieces that may have blown over before letting your pets out.
If these suggestions do not help your pet’s anxiety with fireworks, you can also ask your veterinarian for additional advice. Whichever way your pets and you are celebrating, HomeFirst® Agency hopes you have a safe and happy Fourth of July.