Fireworks are a universally accepted July Fourth institution that families across the country enjoy each year, but they’re also one of the top causes of canine noise phobia. Fireworks’ noises can upset your pet, and their fearful reaction may startle them so severely that they run away. Parties and crowds can also be hazardous to your pet. Learn to help keep your pet safe and calm this July Fourth by reading our Memorial Villages Animal Hospital team’s guidelines and tips.

#1: Keep your pet indoors during fireworks

Many people enjoy taking pets to outdoor events, including fireworks. However, fireworks’ booms frighten most pets, who often panic and run away. The American Kennel Club notes that, because of fireworks noise aversion, more pets go missing during July than at other times during the year. In addition, when summer guests seem to always be coming and going, or you are hosting large outdoor gatherings, your pet’s opportunities to escape the yard or home increase. Your pet can also become injured if you shoot off fireworks in your yard or nearby. Always ensure your pet is safely indoors when fireworks are booming.

#2: Discuss pet noise phobias with our team before the holiday

While fireworks may startle any pet, many dogs suffer from extremely severe noise fears that cause panic attacks and anxiety. Noise aversion affects up to two-thirds of U.S. dogs. Pets with noise aversion suffer severe anxiety during fireworks events and require prescription treatments to help them cope. Noise aversion signs are similar to other anxiety conditions and may include the following:

  • Trembling or cowering
  • Hiding or attempting to escape
  • Lip licking, yawning, or drooling
  • Vocalizing
  • Freezing or clinging to people

Don’t wait until a few days before a fireworks event to consider your pet’s reaction. If your pet has exhibited any noise sensitivity in the past, several weeks before July Fourth, talk to our Memorial Villages Animal Hospital team about medications and environmental modifications that will help your pet cope with fear and stress. We may also recommend long-term training methods to desensitize your pet and reduce their negative reaction over time.

#3: Ensure your pet has tags and a microchip

Ensure your pet has up-to-date identification (ID) information in case they become lost or disoriented during a July Fourth celebration. A collar and ID tag are helpful, but they can fall off. However, a microchip offers permanent identification. Our team can easily implant a microchip under your pet’s skin during an outpatient visit. When scanned with a unique device, the chip links authorities to your contact information to reunite you with your lost pet.

#4: Ask guests to keep food and drink away from your pet

Your party guests may be eager to share their food with your pet, but you must tell them to avoid doing so. Many human foods are toxic to pets, including alcohol, chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and macadamia nuts. Other items, such as corncobs or meat bones, can cause life-threatening intestinal obstructions, and fatty or rich foods can lead to stomach upset or pancreatitis. To prevent your pet from becoming ill, feed them their regular diet during summer celebrations.

#5: Give your pet frequent breaks from the heat and sun

July is one of the hottest months of the year, and pets who stay outside for too long can develop heatstroke. If your pet will be outside mingling with your guests, ensure they get frequent cooling breaks indoors. In addition, while your pet is outdoors, provide them with plenty of fresh, cool water and shade. 

Monitor your pet closely for heat stress signs, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or weakness. If they exhibit any of these signs, bring them inside immediately. Call your nearest veterinary emergency facility if your pet exhibits heatstroke signs such as reddened gums, disorientation, seizures, extreme panting, or collapse.

#6: Ensure your pet stays away from party debris 

Fireworks ash and debris can travel quite far, so clean up your yard the following day, before letting your pet outside. This is also an excellent time to ensure no food scraps, trash, or drink containers are lying around. If your pet gets into this debris, they can become ill. To avoid spending your after-party in the veterinary hospital, gather and secure all trash and debris.

By preparing for your pet’s July Fourth health and safety, you can enjoy your holiday with family and friends while your furry pal rests comfortably indoors. To discuss noise aversion treatment and strategies, or to have your pet microchipped before the July Fourth holiday, contact our Memorial Villages Animal Hospital team.