Keeping Your Pets Calm and Safe During the 4th of July
Summer holidays can be exciting; full of family, friends, barbeques and of course, firecrackers or fireworks. If you include your pets in these celebrations, especially this weekend, we have some suggestions that may help keep your pets safe and calm while you enjoy your events!
An extreme fear of a sound can cause our pets to act aggressively during a fearful event, such as ongoing fireworks. Pets can injure themselves while trying to escape or looking for a place to hide. Their behavior could suddenly change during these noises. Some examples are shaking, hiding, sudden urination, pacing, chewing, digging, barking or howling or being very clingy to you or your family.
If you are home with the pet with company, you may choose to keep your pet isolated in a quieter room with a loud fan or the tv on to distract them from the other noises and firework sounds. If you choose to leave you pet at home while you are celebrating, we also suggest the fans and television being on to distract them, leaving windows and curtains closed and the air conditioning on if it is a hot day. Leaving a toy or something to distract them could help a lot.
Some animals prefer a smaller space, such as a crate, or box, or under a favorite chair. It helps them feel secure and protected. Wherever they are, we suggest placing their favorite toys, food and water for them for added security.
There are two canine wraps on the market that reportedly help sound phobic dogs. The original "Anxiety Wrap" was invented by professional dog trainer Susan Sharpe, CPDT-KA. The patented design uses acupressure and maintained pressure to reduce stress. The "Thundershirt" is also a wrap for your dog that provides gentle, constant pressure. Their website reports that over 85% of "Thundershirt" users see significant improvement in noise anxiety symptoms. Most dogs respond with the very first usage; some need 2-3 usages before showing significant improvement. You can also find these items in some pet supply stores.
Another trick is a product called "Canine Calm", an all-natural mist from Earth Heart™ Inc., can help dogs relax and cope more effectively with loud noises and other stressful situations. Directions on their website say to spray Canine Calm onto your hands and massage the dog’s outer ears or abdomen. Or lightly mist the air behind your dog’s head, inside the travel crate or car, or directly onto bedding or clothing.
We highly suggest never using fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
The 4th of July is the highest rated date which animals escape.
In preparation for the possibility that your pet does escape, you could download the ASPCA Mobile App. You’ll receive a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances. It is a good idea to keep your pets’ IDs up to date for all your animal companions—even indoor-only pets and to always wear a collar with an ID tag that includes your name, current phone number and any relevant contact information.
If your pet lives outside, we recommend your pets wear a durable collar with up-to-date information on identification tags. Microchipping your pets is another way to increase the chances that your pet is reunited with you should he become lost.
We hope this information helps you be able to prepare and enjoy your holiday this July, as well as other celebrations.
Please comment below with any other tips that you have that work on your pets, and please also share your holiday pet photos ! We would love to see them!