Fireworks: Awesome for humans, stressful for animals

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal
Fireworks aren't for everyone keep your pets safe

The Fourth of July weekend is upon us. As South Texans pull out the barbeque pits, fill up the ice crests and cut up the watermelon for some fun in the sun the holiday can be excessively stressful for the family pet. 

"The kennel sees an increase in calls during the holiday due to animals being spooked and running off. Think about the precautions if your lighting fireworks, to prevent them from being scared," said Animal Control Officer Chema Martinez. 

Humans may enjoy the revelry of fireworks, but for some pets  – fireworks, like thunderstorms, can cause a great deal of stress which may include:

  • Violent shaking, trembling
  • Excessive drooling
  • Barking, howling
  • Trying to hide or get into or out of the house, fence, or other enclosure
  • Refusing to eat food
  • Some animals may lose bladder or bowel control or experience temporary diarrhea from prolonged stress

Here are a few things you should know about keeping your pets safe, courtesy of the Animal Defense League of Texas.

Leave the pet indoors

If you’re going to go out and celebrate, it’s best to leave your dogs and pets indoors, with the curtains drawn for comfort, and preferably with a human inside for some company. 

If you have to be outside, keep the pets in a kennel or a crate inside or on a leash at all times

This may provide the pup with a sense of security if it’s scared and will make you feel better knowing that he won’t be coming into contact with anything that could cause harm or scare him. Treat toys and their favorite food may help keep their minds busy and distract them from the fireworks.

 Keep all your pet identification current

According to the ADLT, more pets get lost on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year. So if your scared dog does run off amid the fireworks and festivities, make sure she has a collar with a visible ID on her at all times. Take current photos of your pets, just in case you have to use them.

Stating the obvious, but - keep all pets away from fire

Keep all your animals away from open flames, hazardous chemicals, sparklers, cherry bombs, Black Cats, lighters, fireworks or any other thing that might cause them harm, and keep water and a fire extinguisher on hand.

If your dog is scared of fireworks, play TV or music

Remember, the best practice is to leave your dog inside. If he is still scared of the loud firework noises coming from outside, play the TV loud or play some soothing music to distract him. Try increasing the volume every so often to get him used to the noise. To make it easier for him to want to stay inside, take him for a walk or tire him out earlier in the day.

And, always remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog. Keep everyone cool this weekend by following our tips on how to keep your dog safe in the heat.