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Plan Ahead When It Comes to Fourth of July Celebrations

Posted In: Behavior & Training, Feline Health & Wellness, Canine Health & Wellness

Firework stands are popping up all over town in preparation for the Fourth of July. While most municipalities have rules governing when and where people can shoot off fireworks, the rules aren’t always enforced. If you have already heard the booms in your neighborhood, you’re not alone.

Since it seems people are eager to get started with the celebrations, plan ahead to make sure your pets are safe. Bursting fireworks can be extremely alarming for pets, causing even the best-behaved animals to act out of character. Here are a few tips to help your pet cope with the noise:

Delicious Distractions
Before the fireworks start, load up your freezer with tasty treats for your pets. Stuff treat toys with peanut butter or simply freeze yogurt and strawberries, and let you pet enjoy. Not only do these snacks provide a distraction from the noises, they can also help your pet associate fireworks with good things.

Home Safe and Sound
Even if your pet loves to stick by your side, when it comes to Fourth of July festivities, leave him or her at home inside. Provide a place for your pet that is quite and cool, such as the basement or interior room, and always provide access to fresh water.  Close all windows to keep the sound of booming fireworks at a minimum, and turn on the radio or television to mask the sound.

Make sure you put your dog on his or her leash to go out to potty on nights when fireworks are more likely to go off. Even if you have a fenced yard, the loud noise and the bright lights may spook your dog. It happens all too frequently that pets become scared and jump a fence seeking shelter.   

Talk to Your Veterinarian
Even taking precautions, some pets just get too scared with fireworks. Talk to your veterinarian about anxiety medication or pheromone therapies that are inexpensive and effective. Another option worthy of trying is an anxiety wrap like the Thundershirt. You can make your own wrap using a shirt or scarf – a simple internet search will show you many examples.

One final note to prepare your pet for the loud holiday…

Identification is a Must
Be sure your pet is wearing a properly fitted collar with identification tags at all times. Your contact number should be current and easy to read. If your pet is microchipped, make sure the chip has been registered and the contact info is up-to-date. If you are unsure how to do that, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to check your chip.

If your pet is not microchipped, schedule your appointment now to get this permanent identification. At AMCMA, one of our highly skilled technicians will use a needle to implant the microchip, which is a computer chip the size of a piece or rice, between your pet’s shoulder blades. The microchip contains your contact information, which can be retrieved with a special scanner used in veterinarian offices, shelters, and animal control agencies, thus increasing the chances your pet gets back to you.

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at three locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.