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  • Writer's pictureKaaya Sharma

The effect of fireworks on your pet and how to keep them safe

With the Independence Day holiday quickly approaching, it's important to understand how fireworks can affect some pets and how to keep your furry friends safe if they do get scared. Although a fun time for most, the loud, unpredictable noises from fireworks can put many pets into a panic mode.

How do animals react to fireworks?

Since animals have much more acute hearing compared to humans, fireworks often come off as extremely loud and scary. It can result in an unusually traumatic experience for them as they are not sure what might be going on. Because of the unpredictable nature of fireworks, pets undoubtedly get scared which can result in emotional and physical responses, including excessive panting, drooling, pacing, barking, lack of appetite, and lack of bladder control. Unfortunately, it can also result in the animals running away from home. More pets are reported lost during this holiday than any other time of the year. Because fireworks aggravate an animal's sensory system, they are in a panic mode, which can result in the animal causing harm to themselves and the people around them.

What can you do to help them?

  1. Go for a walk before the fireworks start. An animal’s emotional flare-ups can be managed much in the way as human’s flare-ups are managed. Exercising, running, and playing will have calming effects on the pet before they go into panic mode. It will not only tire them out so they can fall asleep or relax easier, but it will also allow them to do their business beforehand, reducing the likelihood of any accidents in the house!

  2. Keep your pets indoors during the fireworks. Don't take your dogs out for walks or let your cats roam free when the fireworks are likely to happen. When they are inside, particularly in a space or room where they feel comfortable and safe, it will drastically help reduce their anxiety.

  3. Close all your windows and doors. Dogs in particular have been known to try and escape when they are extremely scared, often hurting themselves in the process. Keep them in a secure area where they feel safe and won't hurt themselves or others.

  4. Play some music or TV in the background. Although it won't block the noise completely, it will muffle the sound your pet hears. This will reduce the overpowering sounds associated with fireworks and distract them with something that might be more soothing to their ears.

  5. Don't take your pets with you to events and parties. If they are outside around strangers in a noisy environment, they are more likely to get very anxious, especially if it involves loud fireworks in the background.

  6. Make sure your pets are microchipped and/or their collar and ID are both secure and visible. This is going to be extremely important if they do end up escaping. You need to make sure that if someone finds them, they will be able to make contact and you will have a way to find them.

  7. Make sure any outdoor fencing is not broken. Of course, your pet might still need to go out and do their business. However, owners should be more watchful when they let them out, making sure the pet is secure in the yard or on a leash, so they are not able to escape.

If your pet tends to get extra anxious with fireworks and reacts accordingly, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian. Oftentimes, they will be able to provide proper medication and/or advice to keep your pet safe and calmer!


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