Pets are often afraid of fireworks – resulting in many dogs and cats exhibiting fearful behavior, which can lead to more animals escaping or getting lost during celebrations.
To help prepare pets for this year’s Thunder Over Louisville on Saturday, April 17, the Kentucky Humane Society has a number of tips for owners:
- Keep pets indoors. Animals have a heightened sense of hearing so the loud “booming” noise can cause pets to panic and want to hide. Take pets for quiet walks before the festivities begin or after they end.
- Create a quiet room for your pet. During the fireworks display, keep your pet in a room or crate away from any outside doors. Close windows and curtains to muffle the sound of fireworks. Turning on a radio, television or fan also may help calm your pet.
- Consult your veterinarian. For pets who experience severe anxiety, owners may want to consult their veterinarian about prescribing a mild sedative to ease pets’ stress.
- Make sure all pets wear collars with identification tags at all times, even if the pet only lives indoors. The ID tag should include the owner’s current address and phone number. Microchipping is also important, in case pet’s collars or tags are lost.
- Never let pets outside during fireworks. Even having your dog on a leash may not prevent him from escaping during fireworks displays.
- Distract your nervous pet. If pets exhibit uncharacteristic behavior, such as incessant pacing, crying or whining, owners should help distract them through play, long-lasting treats or another indoor activity your pet enjoys.
- Clean up firework debris before letting pets outside. If pets eat the debris, it may cause digestive problems or serious injuries. Owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if their pets have been exposed to any potentially toxic or poisonous substances.
For more advice on pet-related questions, call KHS’ free Pet Help Line, 502-509-4738, or visit www.kyhumane.org/help.