A lot of us really relish in the festivities of the seasons, especially when the weather is nice and warm out. It is the perfect time to fire up that grill, play in the pool or sprinklers, and enjoy the fireworks events that are displayed throughout the Hampton Roads area. However, not everyone is a fan of all the commotion that comes along with these events. If you are an owner of a pet, then there could be a chance that your pet may be more sensitive to the loud noises that will ensue.
Every year, there are thousands of pets who are lost or met with a tragic accident that could have been prevented during holiday festivities. Here are some good safety tips to keep you and your pet safer and hopefully a little bit more comfortable during the upcoming holiday. These tips also work in the event of inclement weather.
- Keep your pets inside. This helps prevent the risk of an escape. Many pets feel frightened when loud noises occur, and will try to flee to a safer area. If they cannot get into the house, then their next option is to try and find an escape route. This can lead to tragedy, and we do not want to see that happen to you or your loved ones. So, be sure to keep your pets indoors during events.
- Create a “Safe Place” Indoors for them. Whether you have a crate, or a dark room (area) where they can hide, this will help them feel safe. We like to create a “blanket fort” for our dogs, sometimes the feeling of an enclosed space helps them feel as though they are buried and away from danger. Plus, they are surrounded by the scent of your family and their home.
- Diminish sounds– If you are planning on being away during loud events, you can always try and lessen the sounds by playing the radio or television.
- Distractions– Have some distraction- ready toys and treats ready to give them. There are many treats and toys you can get to help them keep their minds off of the looming noises. Healthy treats are a great way to go as well, such as frozen peanut butter inside a Kong toy, Apples (de-cored) or even a bone that they like to chew. Giving them options to occupy them, instead of nothing will also help them from finding other items in the house to chew on or destroy.
- Thunder Shirts– A lot of pet stores offer a shirt that offers compression to it, which is to provide comfort in events that cause stress to your pets. These shirts are great for fireworks, thunderstorms, or any other times when your pet may feel anxious. They are also machine washable!
- Keep a collar on them with a tag– Even if your pet doesn’t normally wear a collar and tag in the house, when there are fireworks or thunderstorms, it is always a great idea to put one on them. Keeping a collar on them while you are away from the house is always something to consider, as it helps them find their way back home faster in many cases.
- Get them microchipped– Having a microchip placed in your dog is a great way to help authorities find their owners when they are lost. If you are not too keen on the idea of microchipping them, there is this new product of the market called TrackR. You can put this on your dog’s collar, and it allows you to track their every movement, especially in the event that they get lost!
The holidays are a great time to get out and enjoy your time off with friends and family. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea to include your fur-babies. Mackenzie Towell with the Norfolk SPCA stated that “many dogs end up getting away from their owners during fireworks shows. Even dogs that are trained to stay with their owners, or have been to shows before, are still at risk to slipping out of their collars and taking off. The best thing you can do to protect your pets is to keep them at home and away from any 4th of July event.”
In addition, if you are out enjoying the festivities and have a pet at home who is not crated, be sure to enter your home cautiously. Sometimes, animals will “door dash”, which means that the second that a door is open, they will take off, regardless of who is at the door. Their fear levels may supersede their cognitive way of thinking. So as a precaution, just be mindful when you unlock and open the door to your home.
Always remember, if you are ever really concerned about your dog’s anxiety level, or nervousness, it is best to consult with your veterinarian. They may be able to help you with alternative methods, such as anxiety medication or other coping mechanisms.
We hope that this blog helps you and your family with tips for your fur-babies. Please enjoy your 4th of July Weekend, and be safe! Remember, your first Uber ride is ON US!! So in the event that you party too hard, you can still get home safely!
Happy 4th of July Everyone!
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