Since the pandemic hit, there has been a 700% increase in pet adoptions, and although it’s wonderful that so many pooches have a place to call home, new pet owners may be less familiar with how dangerous fireworks are for dogs and other animals. What is a spectacle to us is a nightmare to animals, and frightened pets may get lost or hurt while attempting escape in their wake.
Pet adoptions skyrocketed once the shelter-in-place order took effect because suddenly everyone was at home with more than enough time to devote to raising a puppy. Plus, taking your dog for a walk counted as a valid reason to leave home during the lock down. While Italy was on lock down, a joke circulated about how whenever the family dog saw the leash he’d run away. The idea was that everyone in the family wanted to walk him every day, as an excuse to be able to get outside.
The increase in pet adoptions means that many people are owning a dog for the first time. It is important to know that fireworks are extremely frightening to many dogs, and you should be prepared. Not only does it cause anxiety but it can lead to lost or injured pets.
Dr. Justine Lee of Pumpkin Pet Insurance has a few tips to help you keep your pet safe this 4th of July weekend.
Leave Pets at Home
If you are planning to attend a party or fireworks display, don’t take your dog. Bringing dogs into unfamiliar environments can only add to their stress.
Give Fido Plenty of Exercise Beforehand
Physical activity gives pets an opportunity to exert energy so they are less likely to react to sudden, loud noises. If weather permits and it’s not too hot outside, Dr. Lee suggests taking dogs for a long walk at dusk to ensure they are home, safe and secure before fireworks begin.
Keep Pets Inside in an Escape-Proof Room
When fireworks begin, keep pups in a small room or crate to reduce the risk of escape and to provide comfort if they get anxious. Dr. Lee suggests moving them to the most sound-proof, quietest room in the house, keeping the space dark, and closing all windows and doors to minimize sound.
When in Doubt, Turn to the Vet
If a dog shows signs of severe anxiety in response to loud noises, consider drugs or holistic supplements (pheromones, prescription antidepressants, or anti-anxiety medications). Vet-recommended medications are very safe and can play an instrumental role in keeping a dog calm during anxiety-inducing situations.