Fireworks! While they are enjoyable for us humans, they can be an enormous stressor for our animals. According to the American Humane Association, July 5th is the most active day of the year for animal shelters. Without proper prevention, dogs can end up in a state of panic causing them to get lost, injured, or even killed during these festivities. Approximately 15-20% of the animals who enter the shelter will not be reunited with their owners (ASPCA)! During this time of high anxiety in animals, it is important to remember these fast facts for Independence Day.
- Keep Animals Inside
If possible, it is a good idea to keep your pets inside during prime firework hours. Be aware that many people shoot off fireworks in the days before and after the Fourth of July.
Make sure your animal is wearing updated and legible identification or a registered microchip. If your dog does get loose, this is essential for getting back to you safely.
- Exercise Early
Getting in some exercise before the activities begin is a great way to burn off some steam. This will create sleepy animals who are more likely to snooze through the eventful evening and help reduce any stress they may have about fireworks.
- Know the Signs of Anxiety
Animals have many ways of showing anxiety, so it is important to know these signs in your animal to anticipate and prevent any negative outcomes. Dogs’ signs include: Panting, Tucking their tail, Hiding, Seeking an exit, Following humans closely, Digestive upset, Decrease in appetite, Becoming aggressive, Since some dogs choose not to eat when stressed, this is an ideal time to give Vitalize® Dog Recovery Gel to your dog. The Gel contains Amaferm® and MOS, ingredients which aid in stress relief, immune function, and digestibility. Give your dog 2 mL per 10 lbs. of body weight during this stressful time.
- Noise Barriers & Distractions
Turn on the radio or the television at home to help drown out the noises from outside. Other distractions such a playing with your dog are also very useful to keep them calm.
- Be Aware of Exit RoutesBecause one common sign of anxiety is “seeking an exit,” dogs may try to escape your house, thinking it is the cause of the noise. Be aware of the exits in your house and block off doors that your dog can easily sneak through. If you have guests over for the 4th, inform them to be cautious about opening and closing doors. Keeping your dog in a separate room, such as a guest bedroom, may be the best option as far as noise and comfort level.
Please keep these fast facts in mind as fireworks begin to shoot off in your neighborhood!