The safest and best bet for celebrating this Fourth of July with your pets is to exclude them from holiday festivities, at least this time around. Instead, find a safe, secure spot in the home for your pets while you go out and enjoy the loud bangs, bright lights and spectator fun. Your pets will appreciate the quiet a lot more than you’ll enjoy the noise.
Here are a few simple tips on how to keep pets safe… plus a bonus tip on how
pet owners can have a better chance of finding a lost pet.
1) Stay inside: Try to keep your pet indoors at all times during holiday celebrations. Ideally, someone stays home with your pet.
2) Make them feel safe: Comfort your pets with petting, hugging, talking to them in a soothing voice, providing a treat and staying nearby if possible. Make sure they can access their crate or “safe place.”
3) Avoid the noise. Try to drown out the fireworks sounds as much as possible by closing windows, playing music or turning on the TV. You can also do the same thing for pigs that in barns.
4) Act normal! Your pig takes cues from your and your family’s actions. It will help if you go about your normal routine as much as possible, talking and playing with your pet as usual.
5) Make sure your yard secure and that you have a current photo of your pet, just in case.
Preparing in advance:
- Make sure your pets have identification tags with up-to-date information. If you have horses, you might consider marking a safety (breakaway) halter with your contact information and leaving it on your horse during this stressful time.
- If your pets aren’t already micro-chipped, talk with your veterinarian about micro-chipping. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost. If your pets are micro-chipped, make sure your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date.
- Take a current photo of all of your pets.
- Make sure the environment is safe and secure. If your neighbors set off fireworks at an unexpected time, is your yard secure enough to keep your pet contained? Are pasture fences secure enough to keep pigs or other animals confined? Evaluate your options, and choose the safest area for your animals; and make improvements if needed to make the area more secure.
Safety during July 4th celebrations:
- Leave pets at home if you are going out to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.
- If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Better yet consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
- Keep outside animals in safely fenced areas and as far from the excitement and noise as possible.
- Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.
- Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from curious pets.
After the celebrations:
- Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.
- Check your pastures and remove debris to protect horses and livestock.
- If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets.