There are many things in our world that can frighten our pets, but one of the biggest causes of panic and dog run-aways is due to fireworks. Here in the United States, Independence Day is just around the corner and we are already hearing fireworks night and day.  On the big day it will be non-stop booms and squeals of fireworks and firecrackers. It’s great fun for us, but our pets don’t share our enjoyment.  The noise and smells and the loud, unfamiliar sounds scare most pets.

Cats and FireworksFollow these steps to help keep your pets safe during peak firework times.

1. Keep Your Pets Inside

Keeping your pets indoors will minimize the threat of fireworks. Turn on a radio or TV to help mask the sudden sounds.  Keep windows closed to minimize noise.  If you have outdoor dogs and cats, it is highly recommended to bring them inside during these times. This also keeps mischievous people from shooting fireworks “at” your pets.

2. Keep Identification on Your Pets

Fireworks make many dogs and cats so scared they will run to try to get away from the noise.  Be sure your pets are wearing collars with tags that identify them with a current phone number where you can be reached. Even pets kept indoors can get spooked and slip out an open door or gate or bust through a screen. In addition to always wearing collars with identification, getting your pets micro-chipped will ensure a safe return when picked up by animal control or a good samariten.

Dogs and Fireworks3. Consider Medication

If your pet gets particularly spooked with fireworks or thunderstorms, talk to your veterinarian about getting a mild sedative for your pet.  There are many affordable medications that can be given safely to your dog or cat to help calm their nerves.

4. Invest in a Thundershirt for Your Dog

Thundershirts for dogs apply a gentle, constant pressure around your dog to minimize anxiety, fear, and over excitement. These work well not only for fireworks, but also during thunderstorms, car travel, and other stressful situations.

5. Do Not Take Your Pet to Firework Displays

Even if your dog does well with loud noises, firework displays up close may spook even the calmest of dogs. The noises are very loud for us, imagine how loud it is for them. Taking them with you is a recipe for disaster when they pull their leash out of your grasp and get lost in a large crowd.

The best way to celebrate these loud holiday displays is to do so without your pet.  They will be comfortable at home and grateful for the less stressful experience.