July is a great month for outdoor fun with BBQs, pool parties and fireworks when we celebrate the 4th of July. As it is generally known, any type of firework that leaves the ground is illegal in Colorado. However, depending on where you live in Colorado, there may be certain legal types of fireworks such as sparklers, snakes and fountains. These can create loud and unfamiliar noises to your pet, especially if they are outside.
While it is great fun for us, it is often a very stressful time for many pets. Pets are known to frequently get frightened and run away to escape the sound of fireworks. To escape the fear, they can bolt outdoors or jump fences.
Even if you are not going to use fireworks, you may likely have neighbors who will. Therefore, it is important to take precautions to safeguard your pet.
Here are some steps you can take to help keep your pet safe:
- Keep pets indoors. Before it gets dark and the fireworks start, bring your pet indoors. Give them a safe place for them to snuggle up with their favorite things such as bed, blanket and toys. If you cannot bring your pet indoors, ensure they are secured so they cannot get out of the yard, pen, stall, etc.
- If they want to hide, don’t force them out of their hiding place. This will just add more stress. Just make the environment as calm as possible. Turning on the TV or music may help muffle some of the noise from the fireworks.
- Use calming remedies. Be prepared ahead of time with calming remedies. There are many products now on the market. Contact us to consult with one of our veterinarians if you have any question of which product is best for your pet.
- ID Tags and Microchips. Animal shelters experience some of their highest intake of lost animals during the 4th of July week. ASPCA says that nearly one-in-five lost pets first go missing after being scared by the sound of fireworks, thunderstorms or other loud noises. Therefore, if your pet is not microchipped, get them done right away. The American Veterinary Medical Association has a great Q & A article if you have any questions about microchips.
- Wrap them up. Dog and cat stress can often be managed by wrapping material around your pet to help calm them. The slight pressure on the body produces a calming effect, similar to swaddling babies. Thundershirt is one brand but you can also find videos on-line on how to make your own wrap.
- Stay with your pets. Pets are more likely to panic when they are left alone. If you must go out, get someone to stay with your pets to help keep them calm and safe.
From all of here at Amigo Animal Clinic in Grand Junction, Colorado, we wish you and your pets a happy 4th of July.
Dr. Dominic Carrica DVM
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