As people make preparations for Fourth of July celebrations, Louisville Metro Animal Services asks that you keep your pets in mind. Each year, pets across the country find their way into shelters during this festive time. While many look forward to the traditional celebratory sights and sounds of fireworks glowing and booming across the sky, this can be a scary experience for pets.
Louisville Metro Animal Services is bracing for an influx of stray animals to hit the streets of Jefferson County. The loud noises associated with this holiday weekend often result in a spike in stray animals. When dogs experience a large amount of fear and anxiety at once, their initial response is to retreat. However, there are some preventative measures you can take to protect your pet(s) and keep them feeling safe.
- Leave pets inside
- Close all windows and curtains to muffle the sound of fireworks, and always provide plenty of food and water. Turning on a radio, television or fan also may help calm your pet. For pets who experience severe anxiety, owners may want to consult their veterinarian about prescribing a mild sedative to ease the pets’ stress. Owners who are leaving town for the holiday should consider boarding their pets.
- Leave pets at home during firework displays
- Animals have a heightened sense of hearing. The loud “booming” noise can be deafening and cause pets to panic and want to hide. Take pets for quiet walks before the festivities begin or after they end.
- Distract distressed or anxious pets
- If pets exhibit uncharacteristic behaviors, such as incessant pacing, crying or whining, owners should help distract them through play or another enjoyable pet activity. There are several products designed to help reduce anxiety in dogs, such as relaxing music and snug calming vests.
- Make sure pets are wearing collars with identification tags at all times
- This even applies to pets who only live 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.
- Keep pets away from alcohol
- Alcohol is extremely dangerous to dogs. Small amounts of alcohol can cause your dog to become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Even beer is toxic. Fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats.
- 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.