How to Keep Your Pets Safe on the 4th of July

fireworksMore pets go missing or end up in shelters around the 4th of July than at any other time of year.  In fact, the number of lost pets increases by 30% during this time.  What amounts to a thrilling light and sound show for humans is often a deeply terrifying experience for animals and their natural reaction is to flee.  Here are a few tips for keeping your beloved companions safe and happy over this holiday.

Confine to a Small Space

Keep your pets indoors, and create an environment that makes them feel safe.  If your dog has a crate now is a good time to use it.  Otherwise, confining your pet to a small space in the house can help him feel more calm.  Provide fresh water and food nearby and hand out a treat now and then.  Being calm and cheerful yourself will also help put your pet at ease.

Block the Noise

Try to block out the noise from the fireworks.  Close windows and doors.  A bit of background noise may be helpful, such as a television or radio.

Colors & Leashes

When you do go out with your dog, keep her on a leash.  Make sure the collar or harness is very secure, as a scared dog can escape a loose collar.  Always leash the dog before opening the door, even if you’re just taking her out for a potty break.

For Extreme Cases…Sedatives

Some pets are so affected by the noise of fireworks that they may actually require a sedative.  Speak with your vet about this option.   In less severe cases of anxiety you may consider using appeasing pheromones for your pet.  These provide stress relief and are available over the counter in spray, collar, and plug-in form.

Get Them Identified

Make sure your pet can be identified in case she does become lost.  Microchips are the best option here.  Tags on collars are also helpful. Always be sure the information is up to date.

We hope you and your pet have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July!

For more helpful tips, please visit our friends at The Preventative Vet where they offer some great advice on this topic: Lost cats and dogs: Your pets versus 4th of July fireworks

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