4th of July Fireworks – Plan Ahead for Your Pets!

Most of us look forward to the celebrations around July 4th – picnics, backyard barbecues, and fireworks! However, our pets may not share our enthusiasm. More pets go missing on the 4th of July than any other time of the year. Many pets also injure themselves trying to escape. Animal Control services see a 30% increase in activity following the holiday. Whatever your pet’s fear level, being prepared will help keep them safe.

Some dogs and cats show no reaction to fireworks, but even pets who have grown up together with the same exposure and experiences can react differently – many are quite fearful. Moreover, any pet’s reaction to loud noises can change over time – for better or worse.

Safety Tips:

Keep Your Pet at Home: Ensure your dog is in a secure area with no open windows or screen doors. A frightened dog can go through screens, leap out of high windows, or squeeze through small openings you wouldn’t expect.

Pre-emptive Potty Breaks: Take your dog out to “do their business” before it gets dark and the fireworks start. Once the fireworks are underway, your dog will likely resist going outdoors.

Provide a Safe Hideout: Create a safe space for your pet. Dogs often feel more secure under a desk, in a bathroom, or in their crate. Cats may prefer closets or even a cardboard box in a closet.

Create a distracting environment: Turn all the lights on, close the blinds, and turn on some calming music. Try a stuffed Kong or chew for your dog. Give your cat a new toy for distraction. Some pets are too frightened to engage with toys or treats, so your presence may be the best comfort.

Use a Leash or Carrier: If you need to go somewhere, even just from the house to the car, use a leash or carrier to ensure your pet’s safety.

Update ID Information: Make sure your pet’s identification is up to date in case they manage to escape.

Consider a ThunderShirt: ThunderShirts are a calming wrap that applies gentle, constant pressure to a dog’s torso to help them feel safe and calm. It is best to have a pet test the ThunderShirt a few times prior to the holiday.

Stock Up on Remedies or see your veterinarian: Keep remedies on hand to help your pet cope. CBD is a top choice – which you can find at Boz’s Place at LHS. If your pet’s anxiety is extreme, visit your veterinarian for a prescription anxiety medication to help keep them safe.

If your pet does manage to escape or if you find a frightened pet, follow the link below to report a lost pet and see all lost pets currently in our care. Use lost pet groups on Facebook and  Nextdoor, and make sure to fill out a lost report with us to help spread the word about your lost pet. https://www.longmonthumane.org/animals/lost-and-found/