While you may think of the Fourth of July as great holiday full of fun, friends food and fireworks, your pet might not be as fond of it as you are. If your pet shows signs of fear around loud or unexpected noises, then he or she will most likely have issues with the loud bang and pop of fireworks.

Fourth of July fireworks aren’t the only thing that can cause pet anxiety this time of year, though. Spring and early summer mean storm season, too; with booms of thunder and flashes of lightning. Many pets are fearful of these loud sounds that come along with these thunderstorms.

What the Problem Is

It’s not just the noise of fireworks and thunderstorms  that might spook your pet. The lights and smell of fireworks can also cause a panic, just like the flash of lightning can scare your pet. His or her first instinct is going to be to run and hide. If your pet is loose outside, their fear or panic could cause them to bolt.

Fear can also cause disorientation. July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for animal shelters who see anxious pets who have fled in fear and not managed to find his or her way back home. Save your pet the anxiety attack by following these safety precautions that can help you both have a more enjoyable holiday season.

Safety Tips

  • Make sure that your pet has on his or her current identification tags. This will ensure that if they do get scared and run they will be able to make it back home safely and quickly when someone finds them. We also recommend having your pet microchipped before the 4th of July holiday.
  • Leave your pets indoors, or keep them at home, when you go out to see fireworks. They are safer inside, and will feel more comfortable. If possible, leave some music playing or have the television on, if they are alone, to help them relax.
  • Unattended pets left outside, even in a fenced yard or on a tether, may find a way to escape and become lost in their fear.
  • We don’t recommend taking your pets with you to a fireworks display. Not only is it not a good idea to have them out with all that noise, and the people, he or she will not be able to stay in the hot car either.
  • If you have vacation plans for the weekend, don’t just tag your pet with your own home information – make sure they are tagged with the contact info for your pet sitter or boarding kennel too. They will be easier to reach in case your pet runs away.
  • If your pet does run away, report them to the Humane Society right away and contact your local shelters. That also goes for any pets you find that have been lost.
  • If your pet reacts very badly to loud sounds, you may be able to help them with use of a prescription tranquilizer. Talk to us about this if you have concerns. Never give him or her a human tranquilizer; they are dangerous for animals and could harm or kill your pet.
  • Keep our number in a convenient place in case of an emergency. Our doctors and nurses here at Oakland Veterinary Emergency/Critical Care are ready 24 hours per day 365 days per year to care for your pet.

While this time of the year is very fun for families, take into consideration what is “fun” for your pets before having them join in. Sometimes the best option for him or her is a new chew toy and some alone time at home, where it is quiet and safe.