Americans love Independence Day, and rightly so. It is the celebration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and the biggest party of the summer. Along with this celebration comes a number of hazards for your four legged friends including the worst of all, fireworks. Also, pets can get into popular foods available at 4th of July parties and cookouts that can be toxic or cause a number of digestive problems.
A 2013 study by the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences found fireworks were the most common trigger for fearful behavior in dogs. Responses included:
- seeking comfort
Unlike people, pets don’t associate the noise, flashes, and burning smell of pyrotechnics with celebrations. Pets are terrified of fireworks and often panic at the loud whizzes and bangs they produce. Because of this, the American Humane Association reports that July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters. Here are some helpful tips to keep your pets safe this 4th of July.
- Keep your pets indoors at all times
- Do not put insect repellent on your pet that is not formulated for them
- Do not let them drink alcohol or consume marijuana as many people think these substances will help calm the animal. Alcohol and recreational drugs are very toxic to pets
- Do not take your pet to the fireworks display
- Make sure your pet is microchipped or otherwise identified in case they run away in fear.
- Talk to your veterinarian as there are a number of prescription medications that can be prescribed to your pet in severe cases of panic
Remember: prevention, distraction and lots of love can be the difference in a serious or even life threatening event with you pet.