4th of July Pet Safety Tips from the APA

Our shelter sees a huge influx of stray animals after the holiday. Keep your pet safe and sound with these tips.

Animals are often terrified by the sights and sounds of fireworks displays and neighborhood celebrations. Imagine it from their perspective: it’s a warm summer day, turning into a quiet lazy evening. Suddenly, the sky lights up and is filled with loud crackles and shrieking whistles.

4th kitten“July 5 is one of our busiest days of the year. We see a huge influx of animals come through our doors because they ran from home during the noise of the festivities,” says Steve Kaufman, Executive Director of the APA.

See also: July 4th: What’s open, closed, when is trash pickup?, Will VP Fair fireworks be visible from Ryan Hummert this year?

The APA has some simple suggestions to promote a “safe and sane 4th of July” for the four-legged members of your household:

  • Leave your dog at home. First and foremost, do not take pets to fireworks shows, even if you think they will be okay.
  • Keep your pets indoors during fireworks displays. Crating your pet or darkening the room may make him feel safer. Play soft music or leave the television on to drown out the noise.
  • Never leave pets outdoors unattended. Pets who would not normally jump a fence or escape the yard may run out of fear. If they are chained, they may become entangled, leading to serious injury or even death.
  • Make sure your pets are wearing identification – in case they do stray, wearing a collar and tags can help them find their way home. (Microchipping is highly recommended!)
  • Dr. Denise Dietsch, Director of the APA Clinic, recommends pheromone sprays and diffusers available at most pet stores as calming agents. “Pheromones are natural chemicals produced by animals that trigger behavioral responses,” she explains. “In some cases, tranquilizers are the only thing that will help.  Pet owners should consult with their veterinarians to see if this is a possible treatment.”
  • Be careful the next day when walking your dog. The powder discharged by fireworks can be toxic.

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