The VMC of CNY wishes everyone a safe and happy July 4th holiday! Independence day isn't always our pets' favorite holiday, however. Loud noises from fireworks can be frightening to anyone, but especially to our pets that have a heightened sense of hearing. Reactions may range from slight anxiety to full blown panic -- pets may bark uncontrollably, chew through leashes, dig under or jump over fences, claw or chew destructively, or run away (potentially into traffic) trying to escape the scary sounds. Hundreds of pets are lost or injured each year during this holiday. Don’t let this happen to your pet!
- Make sure your dog is wearing an identification tag with your current address and phone number and/or is microchipped. A pet can be quickly reunited with his or her family if wearing identification or if microchipped. Remember to tag or microchip your cat, too!
- Seems obvious, but avoid fireworks! Do not bring your pet to a fireworks display. It's also a great idea to take a long walk with your dog earlier in the day (before dark!) and expel some energy. Tired pets are usually less reactive.
- Keep pets inside. Plan to bring indoor/outdoor cats and dogs inside. If your pet is unable to remain calm with you present in the house, set up a nice quiet spot in a windowless room, if possible, or keep them in a carrier or kennel. Please be aware that very distressed pets can injure themselves in a crate or kennel if truly panicked.
- Leave the TV or radio on to distract them; soothing noise may help keep pets calm.
- Do not scold a scared pet. This will further stress the pet and reinforce fearful behaviors. The more calm, comforting, and normal your behavior, the more calm your pet will remain.
- Stock up on the treats and toys your pet loves the most. It will help decrease fear and anxiety if your pet has a great chew toy or a favorite toy to distract them!
If your pet becomes very stressed despite these measures, consider discussing plans for the holiday with your family veterinarian!