Firework Safety…Because Booms Can Be Scary

Fireworks can be scary for many of our furry family members. From hiding and shaking to destroying the house trying to escape, New Year’s Eve, 4th of July, and Sea Hawk Sundays can cause real anxiety for both our pets and us. Here are some tips to help make these days a little easier.

My best piece of advice is to plan ahead. Make sure your dogs and kitty family members have identification tags on them, that they are microchipped, and most importantly that you have registered the microchip so you can be contacted if they get lost. I also strongly recommend having your four-legged family inside several hours prior to when you think the fireworks are going to start. There is always that one person that sets off a firework at 3 in the afternoon so be prepared.

Exercise, exercise, exercise. Get as much energy out of your pups and kitties as possible. Plan on exercising or playing with them several times in the morning and early afternoon. The harder they play the harder they will sleep and the less the booms will bother them. Just remember every dog and cat is different, and while you want the worn out, you don’t want to overdo it.

Create a safe environment in your house. If your dog or cat likes their crate have it set up in the most sound resistant part of the house. Putting a cover over top can help create a cave or den like feel that some kitties and pups really appreciate. If they don’t like the crate that’s okay. Pick a room once again in the most sound resistant part of the house and make it comfortable with pillows, toys, etc for them. Turn the music or TV up. It can be helpful to play music or TV with loud booms to help muffle and mask the sound of the fireworks.
There are a lot of different medication options to help ease anxiety. Not all dogs and cats need these medications but if your furry family member reacts strongly to the loud booms call us today to discuss which option would work best for them. Once again plan ahead and put your requests in early so you have it on hand and ready.

Finally, never take your dog or cat out to the fireworks. Ideally, I recommend being at home if your dog or cat has moderate to severe anxiety to help them through the difficult day. If you do have to leave be prepared for possible soiling accidents or damage to the house. Remember they did not do this intentionally they were just scared.

Your veterinarian is a great resource for any questions you may have about keeping your furry family members safe. We at Cascade Heights Veterinary Center are here to help so please feel free to call or email to discuss further.

Dr. Kathleen Paulson

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