Pets and Fireworks

29 June 2022

For most of us fireworks brings lots of oohs and aahs. But not so much for most pets. Here are some ideas from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) that may be helpful during this upcoming noisy weekend.

Dogs:

  • Move your dog to an interior room. It is best if there are no windows, but do the best you can. Turn on some soft music. A few days before things start popping, select the room and leave some of their favorite toys around (changing things out so they don’t get bored) and let them stay in that room so they associate it with comfort and in control.
  • Be sure to walk your dog during daylight hours before the fireworks are likely to happen.
  • If you have had good experience with an anxiety vest on your canine, then by all means go for it. If you don’t have one, a tight t-shirt might help, especially if it holds your scent, which can be comforting.
  • Check with your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication. Just be sure to follow the dosage as prescribed and never share meds with another pet.
  • While most cats are picky eaters, many dogs are not. Fireworks contain a number of different chemicals and compositions that can be enticing but dangerous. Be sure the area is cleaned of any debris before you allow them in the yard or park.

There are behavioral therapies and techniques that will help your dog better deal with loud noises. Check with your vet but Sound Therapy 4 Pets may be an option.

Cats:

  • Cats are less prone to being frightened by the explosions, but keeping them in their favorite room will help.
  • Be sure there is a hiding place available like under a bed or in a corner. If that is where they naturally gravitate, don’t try to coax them out. It may take until the next morning but allow them to find you naturally.
  • Even if you have an outside cat, keep them indoors during the fireworks to avoid undue stress.

Should your pet slip out of the house and become lost, there is a mobile app that will help you keep track or find them if necessary and check neighborhood apps. Be sure their chip is up to date with your address and phone number. If you find a cat or dog, take them to a local veterinarian or humane society who will gladly check their chip and locate the owner.

Other Small Animals:

There are a number of other small pets that we have in our homes like gerbils or rabbits.

  • If they are normally kept outdoors, gradually introduce them to the interior of your home so that they can be brought in during the fireworks and noises.
  • Be sure their cage has bedding for burrowing.
  • Partly cover cages and pens with blankets to provide hiding places and to muffle the sound. Be sure there is sufficient air flow and a place for them to look out.

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