Whether your pet is
curious about fireworks or fears them, here are tips from a Purdue
University College of Veterinary Medicine expert.
“Owners must use
common sense when they allow pets to join the festivities,” says Dr. Lori
Corriveau, wellness clinician in the Purdue University Veterinary Teaching
Hospital’s Small Animal Community Practice. “For example, you should be
mindful that some dogs like chasing those spinning and swirling fireworks on
the ground. Others fear loud noises and you should take steps to mitigate
Before firing off
those bottle rockets, Corriveau suggests some helpful tips for lowering the
stress of pets on and around July 4.
Make sure pets have
updated contact information on their collar or harness. Consider leaving
their IDs and harness on during this time, as the extra stress could lead
pets to run if presented with an opportunity. If a pet gets loose, make sure
you have a current photo to help you reunite.
Never leave pets
alone outdoors when anticipating fireworks in your area, even if tethered or
in a fenced yard. Dogs, especially, may escape and become lost or injure
themselves chewing or choking on their leashes. Keep small pets indoors,
preferably in a room without windows, and keep horses in their stalls. Make
sure all sharp objects are removed from these enclosures.
fireworks show, put indoor pets into a small, darkened room they are
familiar with. Turn on the radio or TV for distraction and noise, and reward
calm behavior with high-value treats.
Exercise your pets
thoroughly before the fireworks start. A tired pet will generally be
mellower during the festivities.
Speak to a
veterinarian about giving a mild sedative to calm the fears of an
over-stressed dog, cat or horse and keep in mind that noise phobia can get
worse as a pet ages. If their fear seems to be getting worse, consider
behavioral therapy to desensitize your pet and reduce the risk of panic.
Unless you know
from experience that your pet is not stimulated by fireworks, do not take
pets to fireworks shows. As always, do not leave a pet in a car unattended.
Keep pets on leash
or in a carrier if they must be outside.
from children, and children from animals, who may not realize that waving
sparklers or setting off “safe” fireworks could upset pets.
After a cookout,
check your yard and your home for food scraps, leftover sparklers, or other
debris that could be harmful for your pet.
“It’s up to us to
keep our animals safe and out of harm’s way,” Corriveau said. “By planning
ahead and keeping their safety in mind, everyone can have a safe and happy