As many people with pets can attest, the July 4 holiday is often traumatic for pets who can have a phobic reaction to fireworks and other loud sights and sounds synonymous with Independence Day celebrations.
“I recommend that all pet owners find out the contact information of their local emergency clinic and local shelters ahead of time so that it’s quickly within reach in those unexpected moments.” — Dr. Erin Katribe, medical director, Best Friends Animal Society
Certainly, no owner wants their beloved dog or cat to end up injured or at a busy shelter overflowing with other lost pets because of loud fireworks.
Best Friends Animal Society offers these tips for pet owners so they can keep their pets safe during the holiday weekend:
- Bring all pets indoors whenever neighborhood fireworks displays are likely to occur and secure them in a quiet room. Close the windows, draw the curtains, and surround them with their favorite toys and treats. It can help to play calming music or turn on the television to drown out the frightening sounds.
- Always keep pets away from lit fireworks (including in your own backyard). Some pets will chase after the bright moving objects and are at risk of being burned or blinded in the process.
- Fireworks also contain substances that are toxic if ingested, so be sure to keep unlit fireworks out of reach, too.
- If your pet gets spooked and runs off, ensure they are wearing current identification tags with your current contact information. Also, make sure their microchip contact information is up-to-date.
“The last thing you want is an emergency over a holiday, when many veterinary clinics and shelters are closed or only open for limited hours,” said Dr. Erin Katribe, medical director of Best Friends Animal Society.
“I recommend that all pet owners find out the contact information of their local emergency clinic and local shelters ahead of time so that it’s quickly within reach in those unexpected moments.”
And, if your pet suffers from anxiety, Katribe advises discussing pharmaceutical options with your veterinarian in advance.
“Several medications to treat anxiety are available and can help your pets during these stressful holidays,” she said.
Katribe also noted that milder anxiety may be helped with supplements, such as those containing tryptophan, or a compression-style garment, which swaddles and comforts them. It’s best to speak with a veterinarian for the best option.
Fewer Pet Adoptions in 2022
Best Friends recently released its annual data report, which provides an accurate and comprehensive national overview of the number of dogs and cats that enter and exit shelters. The data for 2022 showed that the number of dogs and cats killed in U.S. shelters had a setback, with an increase to about 378,000 — up from 355,000 in 2021. This was largely due to shelters experiencing higher intakes and lower adoptions.
For more information, visit bestfriends.org.
About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. It is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year in 1984 to about 378,000 in 2022. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary.