Friday, July 4, 2008

Pet safety for the 4th of July

I know this is late in posting, but just want to put this out there.

4th of July can often be a scary time for animals, but there are some tips you can do to help ease the holiday stress.

Many do not like the sound of firecrackers, fireworks, or other very loud objects that can be set off. This is especially evident with dogs who already have a history of thunderphobia, noise phobia, or anxiety. If it helps, you can turn the radio or television up to create a "white noise" effect. If your dog prefers to be in a crate or in a limited place, allow him access to those areas. If cats are afraid, let them have their own "safe" place whether it be a room, under the bed, etc.

It's also important not to soothe your pet when they are frightened as that only reinforces the behavior. They truly can't distinguish a pet out of praise versus one out of concern.

Keep your pets indoors. I can't stress this enough. Both cats and dogs can easily get lost during this holiday. Keep them away from fireworks and firecrackers. They can easily burn your pets and the flashes of light can scare them.

As with any holiday, make sure any kind of foods or decorations that can be ingested by your pets is put up, placed in appropriate receptacles and not reachable. Since many like to have barbecues and grill outdoors,, anything with cooked bones must be in a place where your pet cannot reach them.

If you pet is up for it, you can try doing fun activities that he/she may like. For instance, some dogs like to play ball. Sometimes this helps with desensitizing. Other times, it is too overwhelming for the animal, and thus futile at that point.

Hope you and your pet(s) have a safe and happy 4th of July.


Anne-Marie said...

I felt so.incredibly.guilty. for having to leave Charlie in a strange place tonight, knowing there will be fireworks later. Plus probable thunderstorms. Damn, I thought I was done crying...

Tiptoe said...

It'll be okay in the end. I think Charlie, though will be upset, hopefully, the people taking care of him will keep him safe.