Let’s Talk About Fireworks
Happy Independence Day! The time has come for the fun-filled festivities in honor of our Country. While we may like to light up the night with fireworks and sparklers, we also need to be mindful of our furry babies during this time of the year. While some pets do well with loud noises and bright lights, others may not; some may even try to ingest the fireworks as the lights and noises cause their senses to go into overload. Included in this article are some tips on how to keep our animal companions comfortable and safe this Fourth of July.
First, let’s touch on our friends who have a fear of loud noises. The ASPCA recommends investing in an anxiety vest for some pets. These vests are meant to fit snugly around your pet to help make them feel safer and more comfortable. However, this simple fix may not be the answer for all pets. If your furry family member tends to go on a rampage during the firework season, anxiety medications may be a good fit. Anxiety medications should be prescribed by your veterinarian and should have a trial run conducted prior to using them for specific events. This trial run will help determine the dose necessary for your pet to get the desired results. Never give more medication that is prescribed without consulting with a veterinarian first. Lastly, putting your pet in an interior room without windows and some soft music can be helpful. The music will help overlap the sound of the fireworks and the pet may feel calmer if they are unable to see the flashes of light out of a window. All of these suggestions can be discussed with a veterinarian prior to see which method may best suit your pet. While it is not as common in cats, they can also have a fear of loud noises. While they do hide when frightened, checking in on your cats should be a priority to ensure they are doing well during the festivities. Keep cats indoors during the fireworks at all times.
Next, let’s discuss our friends who have curious tastes. Fireworks contain many chemicals and heavy metals, so our pets ingesting them can potentially cause danger to their gastrointestinal system. Ensuring that all fireworks are out of reach is step number one during this time of year, but while the fireworks are being lit, your pet should be indoors to ensure they are unable to ingest or chase after any of the ongoing fireworks. If you would like to have your pet outside during the festivities, they should be tied up far enough away from the fireworks that they cannot chase after them; however, keeping the pet inside is the preferred method. Always clean up the area that the fireworks were lit prior to giving your pet access to the area. While cats are typically less of a concern, there should still be boundaries set in place for these furry creatures to ensure their safety as well.
Lastly, here are some ways that your pet can be comforted during firework season as recommended by the RSPCA. While many families take their pets on walks in the evenings, during the summer months it may be better to develop the habit of walking in the morning or during the day. This will limit, or even eliminate, the sounds of fireworks and your pet can still enjoy being outside without fearing the dreadful noises. Closing windows and curtains in the evening will muffle the sounds of fireworks and help your pet relax. Putting on the TV or some music may also help mask the sounds of fireworks enough so your pet can calm down. Ultimately, your pet should have a “safe spot” in the home where they feel in control of the situation.
Now that you have a general understanding of how to keep your pets safe during this Fourth of July season, you can hopefully feel more comfortable and confident that your furry family members may be enjoying this time of year as much as you are. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!
Mariah Bernal-Haman, Vet Tech Assistant/CSR
Information was gathered from: