You may love the bright lights and loud bangs of Fourth of July fireworks, but there’s a good chance your beloved pet does not. In fact, those loud fireworks can cause a great deal of stress for many animals. Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) is encouraging pet families to take extra precautions to keep their pets safe and calm during this Fourth of July holiday weekend and throughout the summer.
DCHS advises pet parents to:
- Avoid bringing your pet to fireworks displays – Pets tend to have more sensitive hearing than their human family members. Very loud noises, including the loud booms of fireworks, can not only frighten them but cause them a lot of stress. Large gatherings of people at these festivities can add to the pet’s stress levels. It’s best for the pet to be left at home, where they feel safe and comforted.
- Keep your pet indoors – Take your dog for their usual outside time or walk early in the day, before the fireworks start. Additionally, keep the blinds/curtains closed and turn on the television or play some gentle music to help mask the sounds outside. If they take refuge in their crate, cover it partially with a blanket to help reduce the noise. Some pets may prefer to hide in an area that has no windows, such as a closet. Give them the option by leaving the door cracked open, but make sure there’s nothing hazardous in there first. If your pet is a new addition to your family, stay home with them so you can see how they react and take action to help them.
- Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with identification – DCHS sees an uptick in lost pet reports around the July 4th holiday, so make sure you’ve prepped your pet with a well-fitted collar and identification tag, and/or have your pet microchipped and verify the information associated with the chip is up-to-date. Pets that are chipped or have ID tags have a better chance of being reunited with their families. It’s also handy to have a plan ready should you ever become separated from your pet. Among your list of planned steps should be reporting the lost pet to DCHS through our website at giveshelter.org (include a photo) and checking our found pets page. Anyone who finds a pet can file a found pet report at givsehlter.org as well.
- If your pet must be outside – Be sure to keep the pet on a leash or in a fenced yard so they don’t run off, and make your outing as short as possible
- Speak with your vet or trainer – If your pet tends to be overcome by fear during this time of year, speak with your vet, a trainer, or animal behaviorist in advance to learn about other options, such as medications, that may help calm your pet during the holiday weekend or other stressful events.
If you see a stray animal and feel safe approaching it, check the license tag and other identification and contact the person on it. If the pet isn't wearing a collar, file a found report on DCHS's website. If you can’t keep the stray until its owner is found, make an appointment to bring the companion animal to the shelter. Never leave a stray animal in a crate or tied up outside the shelter.
If you lost your pet, we recommend you:
- Contact DCHS at (608) 838-0413 to report your lost pet (NOTE: The Main Shelter is closed July 4th for the holiday, but lost and found reports can still be filed online.)
- Check DCHS's online listing of lost pets
- File a lost pet report online
- Email photos along with the pet's name and when and where the pet was last seen to email@example.com
Summer tips for pets
You Can Support Summer Fun for DCHS Pups
Some humans may enjoy fireworks, but they can be stressful for our canine companions. Rather than buying your own fireworks, consider donating to DCHS so we can provide fun treats, activities, care, and enrichment to our dogs all summer long. Did somebody say puppy pool party?!?!