El Paso, Texas (KTSM) — While 4th of July’s food, fireworks and festivities are fun for most Americans, the same can’t be said for our pets.
The holiday can be traumatic for our four-legged family members. Pets, especially dogs, can have a negative reaction to fireworks and other loud sights and sounds, leading to extreme anxiety. Dogs have been known to dig under or jump over fences, break tethers or even shatter windows in response to their fireworks fears.
Many pets panic and get loose, ending up injured or in shelters, so it’s best to prevent such potential situations in the first place.
Best Friends Animal Society offers these tips to keep your pets as safe as possible during the holiday:
- Bring all pets indoors whenever neighborhood fireworks displays are likely, making sure that any potentially harmful food or alcohol is kept out of reach.
- Secure pets in a room, close the windows, draw the curtains and play loud music or turn on the television to drown out frightening sounds.
- Keep pets away from lit fireworks at all times, including your own backyard, as some will chase after the bright moving objects and are at risk to be burned or blinded in the process.
- Many fireworks also contain substances that are toxic if ingested, so be sure to keep unlit fireworks out of reach.
- Ensure that pets are wearing current identification tags and make sure your current contact info is recorded with the vet clinic or shelter that implanted the microchip.
- Have a plan in place in case your pet does go missing that includes calling and visiting the local shelter and posting information about your missing pet on platforms such as Nextdoor and Facebook.
“It’s fairly simple to make your home a tranquil place for your pets on July 4,” said Erin Katribe, veterinarian and medical director of Best Friends Animal Society. “The last thing you want is an emergency over a holiday when many veterinary clinics are closed or open only for limited hours.”
Medications to treat anxiety in pets are available.
Pet first aid kits can help treat minor injuries such as scrapes or cuts at home, according to Katribe, while more serious situations such as puncture wounds, burns, broken bones, eye injuries or heat stroke require consulting with a veterinarian immediately.
When in doubt, consult a veterinarian to decide if an exam is needed.