Humane Society officials are advising pet owners to prepare ahead for fireworks and loud noises on the Fourth of July.
“The 4th of July is a big holiday where we see an increased population in animal shelters because pets become so frightened by the fireworks and the noise they make,” said Kimberly Laska, executive director of Heritage Humane Society, in a news release.
“One of the most important things to remember on the 4th of July is to keep your pets indoors so they don’t have an opportunity to run away, get hit by a car or end up in an animal shelter,” Laska added.
Rebecca Franklin, a supervisor at the Virginia Beach Animal Control Center, said dog owners should be extremely mindful of keeping their dogs safe and secure on the night of the festivities.
During a fireworks show, a pet might become easily frightened from the loud noises. As a result, they may be likely to dig under fences or find other means of escape. Pet owners should be aware that their pets don’t know where the loud noises are coming from and could be scared.
“Even if you have a fence, you need to keep the dog inside and as far away as possible from the noise,” Franklin said. “Dogs become anxious and distressed from loud noises if they cannot see or locate the source because they can’t correlate the two.”
Franklin said if you notice your dog behaving oddly or out of character, contact a vet right away.
“We’ve had so many strays that got out at night during the 4th because the fireworks scared them out of their homes,” Franklin said. “The younger ones tend to become the most frightened as well, so pay close attention.”
The Heritage Humane Society has provided a list of suggestions to help keep a pet safe:
- Keep a pet indoors during a fireworks show and shut all of the windows and doors.
- Turn on a television or relaxing music to help distract pets from the noises.
- Check that a pet’s microchip and identification tags are up to date.
- Keep a pet distracted in an interactive way with toys or treats.