The Fourth of July is a time for celebration full of fireworks and food, but that is not always the case for our animal friends. Keep in mind that fireworks might be used throughout the days leading up to the Fourth of July, so start on these preparations now!
Create a safe space.
An animal doesn’t know that the loud, obstructive boom of fireworks are just that— fireworks. To them, it’s a loud, terrifying sound that they do not understand. The flashing lights and smell of sulfur are other sensory stimuli to take into consideration. A response to such sensory overload could easily go two ways:
- They could hide. To start, provide them a den—preferably in a room that is least impacted by noise. Set up a crate or a corner with familiar bedding and toys. If you choose the crate, you can drape a moderately thick blanket over to create a safe space and also block out the flashing lights of fireworks. Don't forget to keep their food and water bowls nearby!
- They could run away. So also be sure to secure all doggy-doors and home exits.
In the event that your pet runs away, you will want a way for them to get back to you. Identification, whether it be by a tag on a collar or microchipping them ahead of time, will provide at least two ways of your pet being returned to you should someone else come across them.
Distract with other sounds.
Once you have created a safe space for your pet, you will want to turn on a radio or television to create additional noise pollution that will distract them from the fireworks, but not be so loud as to be bothersome. Closing the curtains will cut down on the noise (as well as filter out the flashing lights of fireworks).
Don’t medicate without consulting your vet.
Just like their human brethren, you must keep in mind the other medications your pet is on and how that might affect them when mixed. There is also a possibility of giving too much of something. One alternative to medication would be lavender, such as lavender-scented wall plug-ins or incense sticks in a jar of lavender essential oil.
In the moment we may become irritated or anxious about what our pet is going through or handling a situation. They may feed into that source of anxiety and escalate it even more, or vice versa.
Safely dispose small bones.
Chicken bones, steak bones, and even leftover bones from a plate of ribs. All have potential to be harmful to your pet and cost you an emergency trip to your vet. We suggest disposing these bones in a separate bag and bin that is out of your pet’s reach, like the garbage can tucked away in the garage.