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Firework Safety - July 2018

posted Aug 7, 2018, 3:55 PM by Tracy Honstain   [ updated Aug 7, 2018, 3:55 PM ]

Here are tips:

Before Festivities

Make sure your dogs have updated contact information on their collar or harness (use a sharpie). Consider leaving their IDs and harness on during this stressful time, as the extra excitement could lead pets to run if presented with an opportunity. If your dog gets loose, make sure you have a current photo to help you reunite.

Remember to never leave dogs alone outdoors when anticipating fireworks in your area, even if tethered or in a fenced yard. Dogs, especially, may escape and become lost or injure themselves chewing or choking on their leashes.

Before the fireworks show, put indoor dogs into a small, darkened room they are familiar with. Turn on the radio or TV for distraction and noise, and reward calm behavior with high-value treats.

Exercise your dogs thoroughly before the fireworks start. A tired dog is a less anxious pet and will generally be mellower during the festivities.

Speak to a veterinarian about giving a mild sedative or tranquilizer to calm the fears of an over-stressed dog. Sedation is helpful and keep in mind that noise phobia can get worse as a pet ages.

If their fear seems to be maladaptive or getting worse, consider behavioral therapy to desensitize your dog and reduce the risk of panic.

During Festivities

Unless you know from experience that your dog is not stimulated by fireworks, do not take dogs to fireworks shows. As always, do not leave a dog in a car unattended.

Keep dogs on leash or in a carrier if they must be outside.

Protect animals from children, and children from animals, who may not realize that waving sparklers or setting off "safe" fireworks could upset dogs.

After the cookout, check your yard and your home for food scraps, leftover sparklers, or other debris that could be harmful for your dog.

It's up to us to keep our fur-babies safe and out of harm's way. By planning ahead and keeping their safety in mind, everyone can have a safe and happy Independence Day.