Firework safety tips for pet owners from the Humane Society of Utah.
There is a 30 percent increase in the number of pets that go missing due to the loud noises, smell of sulfur and bright lights from fireworks surrounding the July 4 and July 24 celebrations. The best tip from the Utah Humane Society is to make sure your pet does not go missing in the first place. Do not take your pet with you to watch fireworks and do not leave them unattended outside. The following additional safety concerns and tips during the July 4 and 24 celebrations are given to all pet owners:
- Make sure your pets have current identification. It is highly recommended that your pet be 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 fireworks. 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. Make the room comfortable by placing the animal’s favorite blanket or 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.
- Stay calm. If you’ve made appropriate preparations, there is no need to feel upset and worried in order to avoid transferring your anxiety to your pet. Reassure your pet without giving them too much attention as this could reinforce their behavior for next time.
- Do a follow-up assessment. Your pet may remain anxious even after fireworks end. If your pet is stressed, keep them inside overnight. Check the yard to collect fireworks and party items before letting your pets back outside.
- Ask your vet for advice. Behavior modification alone works well for some pets and positive reinforcement training may reduce fearful reactions. For other pets, it may be necessary to use medication or a ThunderShirt with prior conditioning to calm them and prevent injury.
The Humane Society of Utah will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 4, 2015 to assist with lost and stressed animals. Take precaution to make sure your pet isn’t among those that go missing.
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 abandoned animals, fighting cruelty and neglect, and creating an environment of respect, responsibility, and compassion for all animals across our state. HSU is an open-admissions shelter, meaning that our doors are always open for any animal that we can legally accept. We work hard to ensure that every healthy and treatable pet that enters our facility will be placed into a loving home. The Humane Society of Utah is a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit organization. We receive no tax dollars or government funding. HSU is funded by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses and foundations. Read more about the HSU online at utahhumane.org.