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, citronella or fireworks. Ask your guests not to feed your pet any food other than their pre-approved treats.
- Keep pets in a safe area during holiday parties. Prevent your pet from escaping the house or yard when guests come and go. Prevent your cat or dog from falling out of open windows and do not leave them on balconies or high patios unobserved.
- Make sure your pets have current identification. It is highly recommended that your pet is microchipped in addition to wearing an ID collar. 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 or crate 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 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.
The Humane Society of Utah adoption center will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, 2017.
About the Humane Society of Utah
The Humane Society of Utah is dedicated to the elimination of pain, fear and suffering in all animals. Since 1960, the HSU has been sheltering homeless animals, fighting cruelty and neglect, and creating an environment of respect, responsibility, and compassion for all animals across the state of Utah. HSU is the largest open-admissions shelter in the state and welcomes any companion animal that can legally be admitted. As a member of the No-Kill Utah (NKUT) Coalition, the HSU works hard to ensure that every healthy and treatable pet that enters the facility will be placed into a loving home. The Humane Society of Utah is a local, private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that does not receive any state tax dollars or government funding. HSU is funded by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses and foundations. Read more about the HSU online at www.utahhumane.org.