Independence Day means fun, food, friends, and fireworks. For our pets, Independence Day can be downright terrifying – even dangerous! July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters, which fill up with animals who panic and try to escape the lights and loud bangs of the celebration.
Whether you’re planning your own Independence Day celebration or visiting another show somewhere else in town, use these precautions to help keep your pets safe both during and after the Fourth of July festivities.
Prepare in advance. Ensure pets are microchipped with up-to-date names and contact information. If your pets aren’t microchipped, this is a great time to make an appointment! Also, make sure they are wearing well-fitting collars with contact information. That way, in the event something happens, there’s a better chance of them making their way home to you.
Leave Pets Home. As much as we’d like to take our furry friends to firework shows, parties and parades, these events can create a lot of confusion and fear. Leave pets at home so they are in a comfortable place, and you don’t run the risk of them being spooked and bolting.
Create a safe place. Make sure your pet has a safe, escape-proof space in your home to ride out the celebrations. Consider lowering the blinds, closing the windows, and turning on the radio or tv to drown out some of the outside noise.
Work them out. Getting out as much of your pet’s energy as possible before the celebrations begin can help them relax and maybe even sleep through all the festivities!
Wrap them up. Applying pressure and weight to dogs and cats can have a calming effect on them. Consider an anti-anxiety wrap or coat. In a pinch, you can create one from a scarf, long-sleeve shirt, or ace bandage!
Chill them out. If you have a pet prone to anxiety, talk with your vet about anti-anxiety remedies that can help your pet relax. There are lots of prescription or homeopathic options that can help your pet weather fear-inducing situations.
After the celebrations, be sure to check your yard and home for any leftover firework, food, or celebration remnants to be sure your pet doesn’t find them and ingest them. Independence Day is fun for us, but do your fur babies a favor and make sure they’re well protected and safe, so they stay with you for many years to come. Happy Fourth!