While a booming fireworks display maybe the perfect culmination to Fourth of July festivities, The Humane Society of the United States reminds people that many pets are frightened by such activities.
"Pets are family members, and most people include them in their holiday plans, but on a holiday full of activities like our nations' birthday, most pets will be more comfortable at home with their normal everyday routines," said Adam Goldfarb, director of the pets at risk program at The Humane Society of the United States. "So on this Fourth of July, spare your pets the stress of fireworks and crowds and ensure that everyone has a safe and happy holiday."
The HSUS recommends a few simple steps to help pet owners protect their four-legged family members this Independence Day:
- Leave your pet at home. Fireworks displays can be disorienting and frightening to pets, even those who are well socialized. Families can still enjoy the outdoor festivities by simply having someone remain home to look after pets.
- Create a quiet, in-home sanctuary for your pet. Leaving your pet in an area of your home that is sheltered from outside noise and lights will provide a comfortable, low-stress environment.
- Pet-proof your home. When scared, some animals can become destructive. Remove any objects that can be damaged or might harm your pet if chewed.
- Never leave pets outside and unattended. Even in a fenced-in yard, panic can lead a pet to escape or become injured trying to seek refuge.
- Make sure that your pet always wears a collar and tag for identification. In the unfortunate event that your pet gets lost, an up-to-date tag as well as an implanted microchip greatly increases your chances of being reunited.
- If your pet is fearful of loud noises, like thunderstorms, be prepared for a similar reaction to fireworks. Consult your veterinarian for suggestions to help lower your pet's stress levels.
- If you plan to travel for the holiday, be sure to make arrangements for your pet. The HSUS' Web site, humanesociety.org, has information on safe pet travel and choosing a pet sitter or boarding kennel.
For more information, visit humanesociety.org/pets.