The Fourth of July can be one of the most stressful holidays for pets, who get scared by the loud, booming noises and vibrations from fireworks, and may run away from home to flee the noise and chaos. July 5 is one of the busiest days for animal shelters that take in the lost pets. Use the following tips to keep your pet safe and prevent her escape while you celebrate our country’s independence.

Before the Fourth

The time leading up to July Fourth is crucial in setting up your pet for a successful holiday. First, ensure she is clearly identified with a microchip or collar tag that contains up-to-date contact information, to increase your chances of finding your pet if she does run away and get lost. Microchips, which your veterinarian will implant under your pet’s skin, are recommended, because they are permanent, registered records of your contact information. But, remember to keep your pet’s microchip registration up-to-date with your current physical address, phone number, and email address so you can be contacted if needed.

Also, check that your yard is secure and your fence is free of holes or broken areas where animals could break out and become lost.

If your pet is fearful of loud noises, such as fireworks, ask our team about options to reduce her fear and anxiety. At TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Paw Creek, we can recommend calming synthetic pheromone products, like Feliaway and Adaptil, supplements, or anti-anxiety medications, depending on your pet’s needs. Contact us to get your pet ready for the Fourth of July.

During the Fourth

Whether you are planning on hosting or going to a party, keep your pet safe and comfortable by providing her with a calm, secure environment in your home, such as a room where she will feel hidden and secure and cannot escape. Playing soft, calming music or turning on the television can help drown out the noise, and friendly distractions like toys or safe chews can help distract her from the commotion. Also, using her favorite bedding and diffusing synthetic pheromones can help create a peaceful, calming atmosphere.

A holiday barbecue is likely involved, but you and your guests must not be tempted to feed your pet any people food, such as corn on the cob, barbecued meats, animal bones, and foods high in fat, because they can cause gastrointestinal problems.

Keep all fireworks, sparklers, and glow sticks away from pets, who can easily get injured, or swallow or choke on these items. If you do take your pet outside, keep her on a leash at all times, but both dogs and cats are better off indoors. If you are hosting guests, make them aware of your pet’s fear and ask them to be mindful about entering or leaving the house and keeping doors closed to prevent pets from sneaking outside.

After the Fourth

Although the fireworks display is mostly over, keep in mind that sporadic fireworks may still be set off, so continue to keep your pet calm and secure the next day. Also on July 5, check your yard for loose debris, such as fireworks, food, or garbage, which can harm pets.  

If you need help with reducing your pet’s fear of fireworks or other loud noises, contact us and our veterinary team will be happy to help.