Living With Animals: July 4th Hellish For The Pets
By Hope Bidegainberry on June 29, 2018
The 4th of July is not my favorite. It’s not anything political, but rather the obnoxious, drunken human behavior that somehow got linked with the holiday. So while your neighbor gets his illegal fireworks ready, it’s time for you and me to talk pets. First, the only safe place for our pets is inside. There are real risks of injury from fireworks, but it goes well beyond that. Temporary, even permanent damage to hearing and eyesight can result. Further, pets who typically wouldn’t think of hopping or breaking through fences have been known to behave atypically when terrified by those “bombs bursting in air.” Select even that indoor space carefully. Dogs have been known to jump through glass windows, and you’d be amazed at how little a space a frightened cat needs for escaping. Electric cords dangling from table lamps can become wrapped around a skittish animal, bringing table-top objects crashing to the floor.
Chances are you know your cats’ and dogs’ special comfy places, and this is the time to make sure those are extra pet-friendly. Keep the lights low, the shades drawn. Tune in some especially mind-numbing gunshot-free show or soothing music to create “white noise” – safe, distracting background sound to help keep the animal distracted from the explosions outside. Have food and water available, and be forgiving of any “accidents”. If your pet is normally high-strung or especially sensitive to sound, it’s probably wise to consult your family veterinarian in advance. Although drug use for animals should be a last resort, some pets may need pharmaceutical help to help get them through this. Typically, the few days following the Fourth are among the busiest for animal shelters, responding to reports of injured and frightened lost animals, as well as their anxious people. Please keep your pets safe and secure and most definitely inside and, just in case, make sure they are wearing current identification.