Jun 30 2016

Fireworks Are Very Cool. Unless You’re A Dog

Fireworks are the perfect way to end a summer celebration on an awesome note, but while you’re being dazzled by the nighttime display of pyrotechnics, your dog or cat may be cowering in fear. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your furry friend safe, calm and happy during a fireworks show.

fireworks

How to Help Your Pet Manage Anxiety

Whether your pet’s anxiety is caused by fireworks or other events and issues, there are a few things you can do to make your furry friend more comfortable, including:

Desensitization. Play a recording of fireworks or other loud sounds that scare your pet for a few seconds. Reward your dog or cat with a treat after you turn off the recording. Gradually increase the amount of time that you play the sounds to help your pet adjust to loud noises.

Socialization. Expose puppies and kittens to a variety of situations when they are young to help reduce phobias and anxiety.

Medication. Talk to your pet’s veterinarian about medications that will help calm your pet.

Fireworks are the perfect way to end a summer celebration on an awesome note, but while you’re being dazzled by the nighttime display of pyrotechnics, your dog or cat may be cowering in fear. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your furry friend safe, calm and happy during a fireworks show.

Why Are Fireworks So Scary?

If you suddenly heard loud booms and saw bright lights but had no idea what caused them, let’s face it. You’d be more than a little freaked out. While you and your family may eagerly anticipate fireworks every year, your pet has no idea that the loud, frightening noises suddenly harshing his mellow are just humans’ way of celebrating national holidays and long weekends.

Avoiding Firework Dangers

Because your pet has no idea what causes those terrifying sounds, she may try to escape from your house in an effort to get away from the noise. Unfortunately, your pet can become injured by jumping through a window and may even run out into the street and be hit by a car. You can keep your pet safe by following these tips when it’s time for the local fireworks display.

  • Do NOT take your pet to the show unless you are absolutely sure that he or she is not afraid of fireworks. Your pet may actually run toward the fireworks in an attempt to flee the noise and might knock over other guests in the attempt.
  • If you are setting off fireworks in your yard, or if you live within earshot of a fireworks show, do not leave your pet outside – even in a secured and fenced yard. We’ve heard of more normally slow-moving and no longer slim dog leaping a fence or bolting across an electric barrier to escape the intense boom of home-launched fireworks. The best place for pets is inside.
  • Find the quietest room in your house, and put your pet’s food, water, bed or crate in the room, along with a few toys. Turn on the TV or play some music to help mask the sounds of the fireworks. Be sure the door latches firmly when you leave the room. If a family member does not plan to attend the fireworks show, your dog or cat will enjoy a little company in the safe space.
  • Put a collar and tags on your pet. The tags will help ensure that your pet returns home if there is an escape. Make sure that the information on tags is current. For maximum peace of mind, microchip your pet too. Since microchips are placed under your pet’s skin, they can never be lost, unlike collars and tags.
  • Take a recent photograph of your pet just in case there is an escape and you need to make a flyer or post information on the Internet.
  • Do not leave your pet in the car if you are attending a fireworks show. The temperature inside your car can rise to dangerous levels in as little as 10 minutes. Your pet may also damage your car in an attempt to escape.
  • Keep your pet inside until you clean up the remnants of the fireworks if you plan to hold a backyard show. Fireworks contain a variety of heavy metals, including arsenic and potassium nitrate that can harm your pet’s health.
  • Make sure that fences and screens are in good repair to prevent your pet from escaping from your home during the fireworks.
  • Take a road trip. If your pet is terrified of fireworks and nothing you do makes the situation more tolerable, consider leaving your pet with a friend outside the firework zone or check into a pet-friendly hotel or motel.

We love fireworks as much as any patriotic citizen, but not as much as we love animals. If your pet is afraid of fireworks or suffers from any other type of anxiety, we can help. Call us at 317-428-2530 to schedule an appointment to discuss your furry friend’s fears.

Sources

The Humane Society of the United States: July Fourth Fireworks: Awesome for Humans, Terrifying for Pets
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pets_fireworks.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

ASPCA: Fourth of July Safety Tips

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/fourth-july-safety-tips

American Veterinary Medical Association: Fourth of July Safety

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/July-4-Safety.aspx

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