FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fourth of July means fireworks, and while you might like them, your pets don’t.
Veterinarians said that dogs are the more sensitives animals in reaction to fireworks. They are more likely to act out because of loud noises and flashes of light. Cats, however, don’t tend to show as much anxiety in reaction to fireworks.
Veterinarians said to help your pets stay calm, put them in a room with no widows and create a low soothing noise for them, such as the TV or a radio.
Veterinarians also said that owners should not excessively restrain their dogs while they are scared.
“You know, tying it up, holding it down. Those are things that if a dog is extremely fearful it will fight, and it will raise its anxiety level the more its restrained,” Dr. Scott Moore, Veterinarian at the Fairmont Veterinary Hospital, said. “So, trying to provide it a lose comfortable areas is more ideal.”
Best Friends Animal Society offers these additional 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 widows, draw the curtains, and play loud music or turn on the television to drown out the 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.
Owners can also use medications to help calm their pet’s anxiety.
“It’s important to do this based on your pet’s weight, age, and health issues, so make sure to get the proper prescription and dosage from your veterinarian,” said Erin Katribe, veterinarian and medical director of Best Friends Animal Society. “Milder anxiety can be helped with supplements, such as those containing tryptophan, or a Thundershirt, which swaddles your pet and comforts them.”
If your pet does go too far and injuries themselves owners can take them to the emergency pet clinic if their local vet is closed.