July 4th Animal Safety

I’ll never forget having to coax my childhood dog, Betsy, out from under the bed after a raging thunderstorm. And forget Fourth of July. Living so near the historic area in Virginia, the nearly thirty minute-long show had her under there for hours, shivering and peering out at us with that wide-eyed “please just make it stop” look.

Continuous loud noises, like those produced by fireworks shows, can confuse and deeply upset our animals. So when you make your Fourth of July plans, be sure to include safe ones for Fido and Fluffy. An out-of-the way room that can be filled with your animals’ comfort items—bedding, toys, food and water, litter box etc.—can be a perfect “bunker” for your fluffy friends during firework hours. You can allay any separation anxiety by providing a new toy. You can also leave a radio on with the volume low to help mask the frightening noises that are likely to heighten their anxiety.

While it is never a humane or safe choice to keep animal companions outdoors, it is important to mention that “outdoor” animals are in particular danger during this holiday. Chained dogs can be frightened into injuring themselves and even become angry and violent if approached while fireworks are being set off. So if you, a neighbor or friend has chosen to have animal companions who live outside of your home, please make (or help others make) arrangements to keep them in doors during this time.

To learn more about keeping your animals safe this Fourth of July, please visit: http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/diseasesall/a/petsfireworks.htm.

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