We Americans love our fireworks, and many celebrations start earlier than the Fourth of July. However, pets often do not share our same excitement for the shimmering lights in the sky.
Independence Day is the No. 1 time of year pets go missing, become injured or even killed. Equally, the population of local shelters increases dramat- ically during this time. I recommend preparing now, so your entire family can enjoy a safe and happy holiday.
If your pet is afraid, he or she may pace, pant, excessively drool, or paw, nuzzle and climb onto your lap. Pets often hide behind furniture or appear to be scrambling to get outside. The source of the noise is confusing to them.
Make sure all your pets are wearing an ID tag or a collar containing your best contact information. If you haven’t already, schedule your cat or dog’s appoint- ment to be microchipped.
Before you leave home, make sure all fences are intact, doors are locked, and check your pet’s crate to ensure he or she cannot break free.
I recommend bringing “outside pets” inside on the Fourth of July. When they need a potty break, takethem outside on a leash, so they cannot bolt. Cats should be kept indoors as well.
Remember, nervous pets often drink more water than usual, so keep plenty on-hand.
There are drug-free remedies you may try. For many frightened pets, staying in a crate or in a bedroom with a closed door is all that is needed. You may also buy “calm- ing clothing” or blankets.
If your pet becomes frightened during thun- derstorms, there is a good chance he or she will not like the noises from fire- works either. Talk to your veterinarian about prescribing a sedative ahead of time, so you can have something on-hand should the need arise. Do not use any of your own prescriptions.
Even the calmest pets could behave differently during the fireworks period, so it is important to prepare.