(KTXL) — As the Fourth of July approaches, the booming sounds, strong smells and flashing colors of fireworks can be frightening to your pets.
“On the Fourth of July, and other days people are likely to set off fireworks, it’s best to leave your pets safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV turned on to soften jarring noises,” the Humane Society says on its website. “If you’re unable to leave your pet unattended at home, keep them leashed and under your direct control at all times.”
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, its Animal Poison Control Center sees an increase in calls regarding pets that ingested fireworks or have issues with loud noises.
If your pet is scared by fireworks, the Humane Society recommends asking a veterinarian for help, such as medications and techniques that might help reduce their fear and anxiety.
Here are other tips from the Humane Society on how you can help calm down your pets:
- Create a safe place
- Distract your dog
- Behavior modification
The ASPCA said if you and your veterinarian decide on anti-anxiety medication, the non-profit urges you to consider giving your pets a practice dose of the medication before Independence Day to see how they respond.
The non-profit also urges pet owners to not share the medication with another pet or give more than the recommended amount.
As for cats, noise phobias aren’t common with them, but they tend to hide when they have fear, the ASPCA said.
When checking on your cats that go into hiding, the ASPCA recommends having quiet music and keeping them indoors while fireworks are being lit.
After setting off fireworks at your home, it’s best to make sure you thoroughly clean the area to prevent your dog from ingesting fireworks, as they contain several types of chemicals and heavy metals, the ASPCA said.
While enjoying fireworks at your home, here is what not to do, according to the humane society:
- Do not put your dog in a crate to prevent them from being destructive. They’ll still be fearful while in the crate and likely will injure themselves while attempting to get out
- Do not punish your dog for being afraid. Punishment will only increase their fear
- Do not try to force your dog to experience or be close to the sound that frightens them