Everyone loves the fun and festivities of the July Fourth
celebrations. However, our pets do not have the same appreciation
of these patriotic displays. Dogs, cats, horses, and even livestock
can react to fireworks in ways that could potentially cause injury
and even death.
During upcoming celebrations, never leave pets alone outdoors, even
if tethered or in a fenced in yard. It's not uncommon for dogs to
escape or injure themselves in a frenzied attempt to escape. In
fact, many animal shelters report increases of stray intakes after
the Fourth of July holiday due to the number of pets running away
to avoid noise and excitement.
If you are planning on attending a fireworks celebration, keep
pets at home. A good idea is to keep small pets indoors, in an
interior room without windows. Turn on the TV or radio to provide
distraction. Keep horses in their stalls if possible and consider
talking with your veterinarian prescribing mild sedatives during
If you MUST be outside with your pet during a fireworks display,
make sure your pet is on a leash or in a carrier. Be sure that your
pet has current ID tags and/or a microchip so that you and your pet
can be easily reunited in case he/she runs off. Some pets may
become fearfully aggressive due to the loud noises, so protect pets
from kids who may not realize the consequences of wavingsparklers
or setting off home fireworks.
If your pet is fearful during fireworks, never punish this
behavior but don't reinforce it, either, by trying to sooth the pet
by saying things like "It's OK." Paying attention to your pet may
positively reinforce the fearful behavior. If you have concerns
about your animals during July Fourth celebrations, talk with your
veterinarian about the best ways to keep your pets safe.