4th of July fireworks are bright, beautiful...and terrifying for the 4-legged members of your family. While you might look forward to them all year, dogs and cats (and other pets) have far more sensitive ears and can be easily spooked by the bright explosions and accompanying booms. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holiday at home with your pets, fireworks included - it just means there are a few extra steps to take to make sure everyone, pets included, are as safe as possible. Check out these safety tips and tricks before the long weekend so you’re prepared, and this year you’ll be able to have tons of fun without the worry.
Keep Pets Safe Through At-Home Fireworks
If you happen to live in a state where fireworks are legal and you are planning a display at your own party, safety should be high on your list of priorities. Along with making sure all dangerous tree branches are removed, the grass and garden are watered (less likely to start a fire if a firework lands before going off), and you’re in a wide open space, you’ll need to think about all your at-home pets and the best way to keep them safe. Of course, one of the first steps to keeping pets safe is keeping them calm, so make sure you’re doing as much as possible to help pets feel secure. From keeping your dog with its favorite blanket to making sure you feed the cat on time, calm pets are less likely to get spooked and bolt. Along with keeping them calm, you can:
Make Sure They’re Wearing Their Collar and ID.
Hopefully this won’t become an issue, but just in case your cat or dog were to escape, make sure they’re wearing their collar and ID with information about how to get in touch with you. Especially if you have family and friends coming over (opening doors and gates), it can be easy for a pet to slip out when things are already overwhelming and then run off when the fireworks start because they get scared. With a collar on well ahead of time, you won’t need to worry so much.
Keep Them Indoors.
And preferably in a space that feels familiar to them. If you always feed your cat in the kitchen, try to find a quiet(er) moment to do that, even during the party, so your kitty knows everything is ok. If you regularly use a kennel for your pup, stock it with a couple of toys and a treat or two at the beginning of the party, and make sure to show your pets lots of love before and after the celebrations. Keeping things as close as possible to normal for your pets will help them stay calm and less likely to freak out.
Watch Them During the Rest of the Party.
This might sound obvious, but if you do choose to have your pets outside up until the fireworks start, keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t ingest anything they shouldn’t. From fireworks and sparklers to glow sticks to party food and drinks, it’s easy during a fun celebration for the pets to get into what they definitely shouldn’t...even 'people food' you wouldn't expect to make them sick. Fireworks and glow sticks might seem fun to play with to your dog but they actually contain toxic materials that are dangerous for them to ingest.
Keep Pets Safe During Fireworks Displays Away From Home
Unfortunately, while you might want to bring your pups along to the neighborhood fireworks display, the best advice is to leave them at home. From the large crowds of unfamiliar people and scents to the overwhelming fireworks display, these types of festivities are best enjoyed by humans alone while the pets are safe indoors in a familiar place.