With more cities banning local fireworks, the booms and bangs of the Fourth of July celebration have become less of an issue for your pets. However, the local fireworks have been replaced with large municipal fireworks shows, with even larger explosions. If your home is close enough to the show, the sounds can be equally scary to an unsuspecting pet. So, every summer, pet owners are told to be mindful of pet health and safety during this holiday, so we put together these pet tips for the Fourth of July holiday.
Each year, on the July 4th holiday, pets become frightened and run away from home. In fact, is so common, many shelters call these runaways “July 4th pets”. By following the steps below, you can help prevent your pet from becoming a July 4th pet.
Prior to the fireworks going off, create a quite, escape-proof room for your pets. Just before the festivities, safely confine your pets in their quite room. If possible, draw the blinds and turn on some background noise like a television or music. This will help to muffle the sounds of fireworks. If you own a dog don’t underestimate their skills when scared. In fact, they have been known to push open doors, turn door knobs, and dig under fences to get away.
If your pet gets out during the fireworks, scared and likely less composed, they are more likely to get into an accident or become injured. It’s better to be safe than sorry, it’s a good idea to have pet insurance coverage for your dogs and cats. It can help in the event something does happen.
This may sound counterintuitive, but consoling a frightened pet could reinforce their fearful behavior. It’s like affirmation to your pet, “You’re right to be afraid.” Instead, make sure your pet is in a safe, quite area and your responsibility is to behave normally. In fact, your reaction to the fireworks may demonstrate to your pet that there is nothing to fear. Moreover, you might elect to distract your pet with their favorite toy or game, provide lots of affirmation and praise for all behavior not related to fear – like tail-wagging.
*There are other schools of thought on consoling your pet during fireworks. We recommend you review both theories before you elect to avoid consoling your pet.
Don’t underestimate the strength of a frightened pet. Moreover, your ordinarily calm dog can become erratic. This is a bad combination. It could lead to your dog dart away quickly or jump fence when frightened. If scared, they can, without notice, break free from their leash. Your immediate fear will be they break from normal instinct and training and run in front of a car, but more likely they will become lost. If an unexpected bang causes your dog or cat to run, a proper collar, tags and/or microchip can help provide peace of mind.
Some pets are simply more anxious than others. Just like people. If this is your pet, and they seem to react fearfully to loud sounds like thunder or garbage trucks, seek some help. Your veterinarian can help you understand how to reduce your pet’s anxiety. In fact, persistent anxiety isn’t good for your pet’s health. Your veterinarian should be able to provide helpful guidelines and information to help your pet lead a more comfortable life generally, not just on the Fourth of July.
Most pets will fare much better if they are tired by the time the festivities begin. If your dog has an extra-long stay at the dog park or a nice long walk or jog with you, they will most likely be calmer and display less anxiety in the evening.
Once the celebration is over and the nose has subsided, there is still more you can do to keep your pet health and safe. Even in cities where local fireworks a banned, you will still find used fireworks on the street. You will likely come across them on the normal walking path you enjoy with your dog – maybe even in your own backyard. It’s your job to make sure your dog doesn’t become curious and play with or even swallow the leftover debris.
Unused fireworks can be even worse than the used debris. In fact, ingesting unused fireworks can be poisonous to pets. If you cat or dog eats unused fireworks, it can cause vomiting, abdomen pain, and bloody diarrhea. Consult a veterinarian immediately.
Pet owners consider their cats and dogs as part of the family. It’s no fun when we have to exclude them from family festivities. However, 4th of July is that one-time of year where pet owners ought to put their feelings aside and do what’s best for their pets.
Regardless of the holiday or time of year, pet insurance plans can help you pay for your pet’s unexpected veterinary costs. By following these five pet tips for the Fourth of July and insuring your pet with our partner Pets Best, you can help yourself enjoy peace of mind this summer!
If you’re interested in a no hassle quote on pet insurance, we can help. In fact, our customers can save an extra 5%.
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