Pets and fireworks go together about as well as grape jelly and tacos (actually, our dog would still probably find that delicious). It’s because of cats and dogs’ fireworks anxiety that July 4th is one of the biggest days for pet stress. In fact, shelters report the largest amount of runaway pets the day after the fourth of July, caused by fireworks, large crowds, and unfamiliar environments. Nearly five dozen lost dogs were reported at San Diego shelters alone in 2016, according to Fox News. What we associate with fun celebration, pets associate with loud noises, bright flashes, and anxiety. They may panic, bark uncontrollably, chew through leashes, dig under fences & run away, claw destructively, suffer seizures, or even run into traffic trying to escape the scary sounds. But fret not! We’ve got plenty of handy tips to keep your pet safe and sound this holiday.
- Get a Pet ID:
If your pet runs away due to noisy fireworks, making sure your pet is chipped and wearing tags with up-to-date information is one of the easiest ways to ensure he is returned to you safely. Consider adding your phone number to his tag in addition to your pet’s name. And, it’s always a good idea to keep a recent photo of your pet on hand if you need help finding him. If your dog is picked up by a shelter, many will post photos on their websites as soon as they are kenneled. You can also use a service like Finding Rover - a free facial recognition app for your phone.
- Avoid Fireworks:
You can go see fireworks, but leave your pet at home. They have much more sensitive hearing than humans and can easily get over-excited in a big crowd. Often, pets will seek shelter when anxious, which takes us back to tip #1. Whatever you do, don’t leave your pet in the car. During the summer months, you car can get up over 100 degrees, which could cause fatal heat stroke.
- Crate your dog:
If you regularly crate your dog, he may find the crate a place of comfort during fireworks. Make sure his favorite toy is available for further distraction. A nice treat doesn’t hurt, either.
- Don’t Leave Pets Outside:
Similar to tip #2, this tip goes a step further by leaving your pet indoors instead of outside in a gated fence. The insulation of your home acts as a nice buffer to loud noises and will help drown out any bangs and booms so your pet feels more secure.
- Don’t Scold a Scared Pet:
It’s natural to panic if you see your pet dart off, but be careful not to scold him too harshly. This will scare and confuse a dog and reinforce fearful behaviors.
Bonus Tip: Come on, you saw this one coming. The BEST way to help your pet feel safe and calm, remedy shaking related to fireworks and other “not-so-fun” behaviors is to get ‘em a ThunderShirt! It’s designed for just such occasions. Anytime your dog or cat is showing signs of anxiety, ThunderShirt can be worn with a comfortably snug fit, like a nice hug. Spray a little ThunderEssence with 100% natural essential oils on your ThunderShirt for an even calmer pet. Both are clinically proven and vet recommended to help reduce the fears and anxieties related to thunder and fireworks. And, they’re both an all-natural, drug-free solution over using sedatives.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July, everyone!