June 16, 2022 | General
By Dr. Karen Shaw Becker – Read Full Article
Every July 4th there are pet casualties, so I thought I’d take this opportunity well in advance of Independence Day celebrations to remind dog and cat owners of the dangers associated with this particular holiday.
Fireworks displays can be stressful and frightening for pets, so if you’re planning to take your pet along, I recommend you rethink that idea. Even normally calm dogs can get spooked and disoriented by the noise, lights and crowds involved in a fireworks display. You certainly don’t want to frighten your pet or put him in a situation where he might bolt or become aggressive due to fear.
Even pets left at home can be frightened of the loud noises that seem to go on and on the evening of July 4th. Your dog or cat has a much better sense of hearing than you do, so loud, unfamiliar sounds can be especially unsettling. And this goes double if your pet is getting up in years.
Even small firecracker or sparkler displays by neighbors or family members can upset your pet.
Signs your pet is afraid of fireworks or other loud noises include shaking, vocalizing (barking or howling), excessive drooling, looking for a place to hide, or escape attempts.
With a little advance planning, you can prevent problems with your pet over the July 4th holiday. It will be much easier for you and your family to relax and enjoy the celebrations if you’re not worrying about your pet’s health and safety.
Some pets aren’t bothered at all by fireworks. Others may get a bit jumpy, but are generally fine as long as their owner is nearby to soothe them as necessary.
Other pets become extremely frightened, especially dogs with noise phobia.
As a general rule, most dogs and cats are more comfortable left at home with their normal routine during July 4th celebrations. But you can still include your pet in festivities like picnics, trips to the beach or lake, or family gatherings. Just make sure your four-legged family member is tucked snugly inside your home, with access to a safe haven, before the fireworks begin.