Firework and party safety tips for pet owners from the Humane Society of Utah
The July 4 and 24 holidays bring fun, food and fireworks that can cause harm to pets. Animals may be injured during barbeques or go missing during firework displays. Utah law allows an extended opportunity for fireworks to be discharged July 1-7 and 21-27 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and until midnight July 4 and 24. There is a 30 percent increase in the number of pets that go missing due to fearful reactions from the loud noises, the smell of sulfur and bright lights from fireworks. The best tip is to prevent your pet from getting lost in the first place. Do not take your pet with you to watch fireworks and do not leave them unattended outside during parties or firework activity.
The Humane Society of Utah shares the following safety concerns and tips to pet owners during these holiday celebrations.
· Keep your pets on their normal diet. Make sure your pets do not consume the following items during summer parties: grapes, raisins, garlic, onions, guacamole, chicken wings, cooked bones, chocolate, Xylitol (artificial sweetener common in sugar-free foods), alcohol, sunscreen, insect repellant or fireworks.
· Keep pets in a safe area during holiday parties. Ask your guests not to feed your pet any food other than their pre-approved treats and to be mindful that they do not escape the house or yard when people come and go.
· Make sure your pets have current identification. It is highly recommended that your pet is microchipped in addition to wearing an ID collar in case fear causes them to bolt. Be sure to keep your contact information updated.
· Keep your pet safely away from firework activity. For pets usually kept outdoors, bring them inside during firework activity. Try to feed and walk your dog before fireworks begin.
· Prepare the house. Keep some lights on to calm your pet. Dampen the noise by closing doors, windows, curtains and keeping the TV or calm music playing.
· Prepare an escape-proof safe room. Select a suitable inner room to contain your pet for the duration of the fireworks to prevent them from running about the house and causing injury to themselves or others. Make the room comfortable by placing the animal’s favorite bedding, toys and treats to keep them amused and distracted. If the pet is frightened, their automatic response will be to run and hide somewhere in the room; this is their method of coping. Allow them to hide and do not try to coax them out. Be sure to leave sufficient food and water.
· Do a follow-up assessment. Your pet may remain anxious even after the firework activity ends. If your pet is stressed, keep them inside overnight. Check the yard to collect fireworks and party items before letting your pets back outside.