Just about everybody loves the Fourth of July — parades, picnics, get-togethers, and it’s all topped off with fireworks at the end of the day.
Fun for you. But not for your pet.
In fact, fireworks can be downright terrifying for dogs and cats, according to the Humane Society of the United States. The loud booms can send pets running, which is why shelters take in so many lost animals after July 4, because pets are more sensitive to the booms and flashing lights than people are.
You can keep your pet safe and relatively calm by following a few simple rules. Leave pets indoors, with a television or radio on to cover up the explosive sounds, adds HSUS. If you have an outdoor pet, bring him inside.
If you must bring your pet with you make sure she is leashed and always with you. If you know your pet is afraid of fireworks, your veterinarian can prescribe medication to help her deal with her fears. Behavioral therapy to help desensitize your pet is another option, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It’s also important, if you do take your pet, to never leave him in a parked car, no matter what the temperature.
Whether your pet stays indoor or out during fireworks, make sure she is wearing a collar with an identification tag or a microchip with up-to-date information, in case she tries to escape the explosions.
Additionally, don’t leave fireworks and their debris on the ground so that your pet doesn’t try to eat it, which could be dangerous or even deadly, says the AVMA, which adds that it’s also a good idea to take a photo of your pet in case he does run away from the fireworks.