It’s that time of year again: the 4th of July, when family and friends get together for the opening of crab season, BBQ’s, and booming fireworks lighting up the night sky. While it’s fun for us, it can be terrifying for our pets.
A dog’s hearing is sensitive, hearing approximately four times better than humans. A cat’s hearing is sharp and we hear less than 1/3 of what they do.
We recommend following the steps below to ensure your pet remains safe:
Stay Calm – Pets notice our body language and react accordingly.
Keep pets indoor – familiar surroundings are the best place to keep them safe. Escort dogs outside every 3-4 hours for a potty break, use a leash if needed to keep a pet from bolting. Keep a close eye on them if attending an event.
Extreme fear of sound – can cause pets to injure themselves while trying to escape or looking for a place to hide.
Be aware of: hiding, trembling, shaking, sudden urination or defecation, pacing, chewing, digging, barking, howling, and an abnormal clinging behavior.
Reduce the noise level by closing windows and doors, running a fan, playing a radio (classical music is best) or TV to help offset the loud firework noise.
Also close blinds or curtains and turn on lights throughout the house to help block the flashing light from fireworks.
Create a safe place – When pets are anxious or afraid, they’ll often retreat to a closet, a crate, or under a bed. Until the noise subsides, create a safe haven where a pet can retreat to when he/she feels threatened. Consider putting their favorite blanket in those areas to help create comfort and security. Offer kitty’s a cat bed or a blanket to burrow into. Most importantly, let them be, don’t force them to into something they don’t want.
Food Toxicity – BBQ’s can often offer tantalizing treats for pets, however, most of those foods can be toxic to our pets.
Be wary of offering hamburgers, chicken, hot dogs, and ribs which are fatty and rich foods that can wreck havoc on your pet’s stomach, perhaps causing indigestion, diarrhea and ultimately pancreatitis.
Onions, a common condiment, are toxic and can lead to fatal poisoning while discarded bones can cause obstructions.
Natural calming cures – Try a natural approach to calm a pet’s fear. Bach Flower Rescue Remedy, made from spring water and wild flowers, has been used successfully on pets who have a fear of thunder and fireworks. More information can be found here: http://bachflowerpets.com
Thundershirt’s, similar to swaddling an infant, gives a constant pressure on a dog or cat’s torso to help reduce tension or anxiety.
Have all ID in place – Pets can easily become separated from us during an event. A gate may be left open at a bbq or they may find a way to escape during a backyard potty break. Ensure your pet wears a durable collar with up-to-date information, tags, or is microchipped. This will help increase your chances of being reunited with your pet should he/she becomes lost.
For anyone who has lost a pet or comes across a lost pet, the following are animal shelters in our area:
Camano Animal Shelter (CASA), Camano Island, 360-387-1902
Noah, Stanwood, 360-629-7055
Everett Animal Shelter, 425-257-6000
Let’s all keep our furry loved ones safe, injury and stress-free this Independence Day!
Wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th from all of us at Totally Tails Pet Care!