Have you considered Fido in your July 4th planning?
If you’re thinking of bringing him along, consider that he may not feel the same about Independence Day as you do. Most animals have a natural fear of loud noises. Unless you know for certain your companion animal is at ease with large crowds and loud explosions, July 4th may be a terrifying experience for her or him.
- Reconsider bringing your dog to fireworks displays. Even leaving your dog in your car is not a good idea—warmer weather and dogs can be a deadly combination and open car windows make it easier for a terrified dog to escape or get stolen.
- I.D. all your animals! At minimum, outfit your dog or cat with an ID tag. The ideal is an ID tag and a microchip with your up-to-date contact information. While microchips won't wear off, a collar I.D. tag is the quickest way to reunite with your lost dog or cat.
- Keep all companion animals indoors to avoid accidental injuries caused by fireworks, to ensure people don’t torment your animals with fireworks, and to reduce the risk of losing your companion animal. Dogs on tethers or in backyards may try to escape the loud noises and flashes. Cats can get disoriented by the scary noises and run into traffic while trying to seek a safe hiding place. Also, please take the time to help a lost animal if you find one.
- Help reduce stress and accidents indoors. Provide a "safety spot" in a room or where they normally sleep in the house. Even a well-mannered dog or cat may demonstrate atypical behavior while fireworks are going off. Remove anything you don’t want them to soil on or chew and replace it with a safe chew toy for dogs or cat nip toys for cats.
- Reduce scary sights and sounds by turning up a radio or television and shut all windows and doors to help drown-out loud bangs. Close curtains and blinds to block out the flashing lights.
- Think ahead for next year! If your companion animal suffers from noise anxiety, talk to your veterinarian about anxiety-reducing medication. Consult with a professional trainer for calming and desensitization techniques to help them overcome their fears.
Wildlife may also be extremely frightened by loud noises and bright flashes. Keep them in mind this holiday weekend and use fireworks with discretion. If you find an injured or orphaned wild animal, contact PAWS at 425.787.2500 x817.
Happy, safe Independence Day to all!