Fourth of July Prep

Although fireworks are a must-see spectacle on the fourth of July for most people, many animals fear them. Nearly eighty percent of pet owners report owning a pet who is afraid of fireworks. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible for your pets to avoid fireworks this holiday weekend. However, there are a few precautions you can take to ensure your pet enjoys the holiday as much as you do.

If your furry friend has shown these signs of stress in the past, then you need to be aware that fireworks upset him and take precautionary measures to ensure that he does not hurt himself. If you have a new pet, the following list shows signs of stress to look for.
• Cats: running away, soiling the house, hiding away and refusing to eat
• Dog: barking a lot, running away, soiling the house, hiding and cowering, clinging to owners, whimpering, trembling and shaking, pacing and panting, and refusing to eat

Here are a few tips you can follow to be sure to try to prevent your pet from showing these signs of stress.
1. Plan.
You need to know when fireworks will be going off in your area. Be sure to call the neighbors and contact the city to find out when and where fireworks are going off so you know far enough in advance when you should prepare your pet. Take your pet on a walk before the fireworks start so he can go to the bathroom and get some of his energy out. Be sure to go enough in advance that if the fireworks start early, you will not be walking when they go off!

2. I.D.
Check to make sure your pet has proper identification, such as a tag or microchip, just in case he gets out during the celebration. Try to keep your pet indoors at night, and do not let him out off-leash.

3. Practice.
Prepare your pet for loud sounds. Expose your pet to noise and other loud sounds to help desensitize him so the fireworks will not be as surprising.

4. Prepare.
The house is your pets comfort zone, so you need to make sure you prepare it properly. Keep a few lights on to make your pet feel more secure; no one wants to be stuck in a dark room with scary noises! Drown out the noise as much as possible by playing familiar sounds such as music or the Television; also put a blanket over your pet’s crate if he has one.

5. Safe Zone.
Select an inner room where the noise is drowned out to confine your pet. Close your pet off to prevent him from running around and hurting himself or destroying your house. Make this room comfortable by putting your pet’s favorite bed and toys. Be sure this room is safe and doesn’t contain any items your pet can hurt himself on. You can allow your pet to hide under chairs and tables if he wishes.

6. You.
Prepare yourself. Be sure that you are not anxious, as this can transfer to your pet. Stay with your pet if you can and talk to him and comfort him while the fireworks are going on. If you cannot stay with your pet, he should be okay if you follow the above tips.

7. After.
Check on your pet after the fireworks and reassure him that everything is okay. Let him come out of his safe zone on his own time, but be sure the fireworks are completely over before you let him do so. Check your yard to ensure there are no matches, fireworks, or lighter fluid on the ground.

**We also want to remind you to take care of your outside pets if you have them! Make sure your livestock have plenty of straw in the barn and give them a comfortable place they can escape the fireworks.**
We hope these tips help you and your pet have a fun, safe Fourth of July!

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