As July 4th quickly approaches, here is some good advice for your pets from BAPD volunteer and local Animal Behavior Consultant, Karen Dugan Holman B.S.,B.S.E., M.S.
It is important to remember that even the calmest dog will not enjoy fireworks. They are not humans and would prefer that you not share this event with them. Instead of taking your dog visiting friends to watch fireworks, here are some alternatives and tips to help keep your pet safe.
· Bring your pets indoors, turn on a TV, fan or music. Box fans provide a very nice humming noise to help soften the noise outside. Leave your pet in a favorite location and provide a bed, water, and favorite toys to keep them entertained. A KONG toy, stuffed with canned dog food and frozen can keep them occupied while you are away. Close window coverings to block keep your animal from watching fireworks or visitors outside.
· Do not take your dog with you to a firework event if it can be avoided. If you must take them, make sure they are leashed with a collar and ID tags. Do not leave them in your car, as the July temperatures in a car are quickly life threatening for your dog. Provide your dog plenty of water and shade. Do not let go of them.
· Microchip your dogs. Dogs that become frightened may run or try to escape. They often slip out of their collar. A microchip can be scanned at any vet or shelter allowing your dog to be reunited with you. If your dog does become lost, contact the BA Animal Shelter, put up lost dog signs and share a picture and information on social media. There are sites specifically for Broken Arrow lost dogs.
· Padlock your yard gates. Visitors may accidentally leave the gate unlatched and your dog may escape without your knowledge.
· Clean up all remnants of fireworks and picnics. Many of the chemicals used in fireworks, trash and human food are toxic to animals.
· Know your pet. They are all different with unique personalities and needs. There are medications that your veterinarian can provide if needed to keep your pet safe and more comfortable during this stressful event. There is no reason for your pet to suffer with anxiety. There are also over the counter products that can help calm your pets.
The Fourth of July is an opportunity to gather with family and friends, building lasting memories. Leave your pets safe at home to insure your memories are happy ones.