Happy 4th of July!
Please remember that dogs and cats aren’t the only ones that can be negatively impacted by fireworks. Our local wildlife also feel the effects when fireworks are set off close to home. The best thing you can do is to not set off fireworks, which are illegal in Massachusetts. However if you cannot avoid fireworks, here are a few tips to help animal this holiday!
1. Remove bird feeders and bird baths several hours before fireworks happen. This will discourage birds from being in the area and ensure that no ash, debris or other firework residue inadvertently lands in birdseed or drinking water. If it is not possible to remove the feeders or baths, cover them prior to using the fireworks or thoroughly clean them afterwards.
2. Drive slowly when leaving your event. Animals could be running scared. Be prepared to brake suddenly and avoid collisions.
3. Dogs’ ears are far more sensitive than ours, so help them by drowning out the noise. Find a quiet, comfortable area for your pet indoors and turn on the TV or radio to help reduce the ability for him to hear the fireworks. This includes making sure all windows, screens and doors are closed tightly.
4. Before the big night, exercise your pet – take your dog to the park, and use feather wands or lasers with your cat. Hopefully once the festivities begin, they will be too tired to be stressed by it.
5. Try giving your dog or cat food and toy puzzles to play with to help distract them from the noises and keep their mind occupied.
6. If your pet has a known history of panic over fireworks or loud noises, do not hesitate to talk to your vet about a tranquilizer for that pet to take during the festivities.
7. Even if your dog does not have a history of fear over fireworks or loud sounds, do not be complacent if they are outside with you. Make absolutely SURE they cannot get out of their harness or collar should they panic. A panic attack can happen suddenly in a pet’s life, even when it has not happened in the past. Sadly, many dogs become lost after running away from loud noises like fireworks.
8. Some owners have found that their dog benefits from wearing the “Thundershirt”, a pressure wrap that applies a gentle, constant pressure on a dog’s torso, easing anxiety. There’s even one for cats!
Many of these common sense safety tips can also protect pets and nearby wildlife, from unnecessary trauma or injuries caused by fireworks.
Learn the laws regarding fireworks where you plan to spend the 4th!