How To Keep Your Pet Calm and Safe On The 4th of July
Memorial Day may be the unofficial start of summer, but come July 4th the sweetness of the season will be in full swing. With many public July 4th events cancelled across the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people will be lighting the sky with their own firework shows in backyards, driveways, and neighborhoods.
As fun as celebrating July 4th with fireworks is for us, it can be a much more frightening experience for dogs and cats. While humans can easily relate the loud sounds of fireworks to their source, animals cannot grasp where those sounds are coming from and perceive them as a threat, sending many into a state of fight or flight. You may not know it, but July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters. The ASPCA reports that 20 percent of pets that go missing are scared off by fireworks or other loud noises like thunder.
Another summer spectacle that can be fascinating and entertaining for humans is thunderstorms. For pet parents, thunderstorms may be a welcoming reprieve from sweltering summer days, but for cats and dogs, the crackle and crash of thunder and the flash of lightning can cause stress and anxiety. According to research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), July through August is peak thunderstorm season in many parts of the United States. From the northern Rockies and northern Plains through the upper Midwest and Northeast, severe thunderstorm activity picks up significantly during these months.
Distress from loud noises for pets can come in many forms, including:
- Uncontrollable barking
- Erratic physical behaviors
As pet parents, it’s our job to protect our cats and dogs and provide them with optimal health and happiness year-round. Read below a few tips that will help keep your pet calm and safe during the rumbling of a thunderstorm or when those July 4th celebrations kick off with a bang.
Prepare a Safe Haven
Before fireworks begin or thunder storms in, prepare a cozy place for your pet to hang out and feel safe. This could be a crate, pet nook, or simply a blanket on or under a bed. It’s best to keep these safe havens in enclosed spaces and as far from noise as possible. If you already have a comfortable spot where your pet likes to relax and sleep be sure to tidy and dress it up with their favorite toys and relaxing music.
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Talk And Act Normally
Pets are greatly influenced by their parents’ reactions during stressful situations. During fireworks or a thunderstorm be sure to act and speak calmly and reinsure their safety with pets and cuddles. If your pet prefers to hide in his or her safe space, allow them that freedom. If you know your pet is negatively affected by loud noises, it’s also a good idea for someone to stay indoors or take shifts watching and playing with them until the festivities have come to a close.
Leave Your Pet Home & Indoors
Our pets don’t experience the same thrill of fireworks that we do. To spare them from a stressful event it’s best to keep your pets indoors whether you’re leaving the house or hosting a 4th of July get-together. We also suggest closing the windows and shades to minimize their exposure to loud noises and flashing lights.
Update Your Pets’ Microchip Information
Because dogs can hear at decibels unfathomable to humans, loud, strange noises can make your pet do erratic things, like provoking them to run. Even if you don’t think your dog (or cat) may run off during a thunderstorm or fireworks it’s best to be prepared in the event that they do escape from your home or property. For details on how to register or update your pet’s microchip information visit https://bit.ly/2A8C0He.