Saturday, June 30, 2007

Pets and Fireworks

Fireworks Tips for People with Pets

If fireworks are legal where you live (or available and used, even if illegal):

Keep a close eye on your pet to see if fireworks make them nervous or unhappy. Be aware that your pet’s attitude toward fireworks may change with age, typically for the worse.

Keep your pet inside on nights when fireworks are going off. If you need to take your pet outside, use a leash, even if your yard is fenced. Panicked animals may bolt in unpredictable directions and jump or climb fences that normally would hold them.

Indoors, run fans or air conditioning to help block the noise of fireworks. If you play the radio or TV, choose the station carefully. Your pet will not appreciate “Saving Private Ryan” or other war movies – comedies or nature stories are more appropriate. Also, be sure the station will not be broadcasting fireworks. One local station, for example, broadcasts the Local Music Festival AND its fireworks. The big public fireworks in town are televised.

Make sure your pet is wearing identification. July 4th is one of the biggest nights of the year for pets to go missing. Give your pet every possible chance to be re-united with you. Even if your pet is micro-chipped or tattooed, a collar tag with your phone number may help him get home sooner. In case your pet does get loose and you need to post flyers, have recent photographs that clearly show any distinctive markings or expression.

Your pet will need plenty of cool, fresh water to replace water lost through panting.

Other things that may help:

  • Staying calm yourself, even if your pet is upset. If you become angry at your pet’s behavior, you will only confuse and further upset him
  • Flower essence blend called “Rescue Remedy”
  • Tellington TTouch
  • Wearing a T-shirt (with human supervision)
  • Playing interactive games with a favorite human
  • A really good chew toy or bone
  • Sedatives (talk to your vet beforehand so you have the appropriate dosage on hand)
  • Some pets are happier in a small, secure space like a dog crate, while others will panic and hurt themselves trying to escape.
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