Greetings, fellow furry friends and pet owners! I’m Sam the Labrador, and my owner has been taking me to the good people at Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care for years. My owner says I have a knack for getting into trouble, but I say I like to live life on the edge. Needless to say, I have often needed emergency care, and I am so grateful for those kind people who have taken care of me during some pretty scary times—I mean, who knew that those delicious socks could get stuck in my stomach? Anyway, I’m here because the terrible-boom-boom-nightmare day—meaning July Fourth—is coming up.
Did you know that July Fourth is one of the busiest days of the year for pet emergency hospitals? I don’t know the meaning of this terrifying holiday, or why humans seem to find the day so enjoyable, but I want to keep all my friends safe and out of trouble. So, here are my five tips you should share with your humans to stay safe and comfortable on July Fourth.
#1: Leave your pet home
I know our humans become terribly sad when they can’t be with us. I mean, who can blame them? Most of the time, we enjoy being part of the festivities, but July Fourth isn’t one of those times. So, remind your humans that during any fireworks display, your cozy bed, in your quiet, cozy home is the safest place. You can do without the loud explosions, crowds of people, and unfamiliar environment, and you’re not likely to get lost if you’re snuggled up in bed.
#2: Create a safe space for your pet
Once you have persuaded your humans that you’d prefer to skip the fireworks and stay home, let them know how they can ensure you are comfortable. Tell them you need:
- A quiet, secure room, with the blinds closed
- Calm music playing, or the television turned on—to funny dog shows, of course
- Your favorite toys, or a stuffed Kong, to distract you from the chaos outdoors
Those fireworks are loud, and the best way to get through this scary night is by blocking out all the sights and sounds outside.
#3: Keep pets away from fireworks and the aftermath
This should go without saying, but pets and fireworks don’t mix. Our humans not only gather to watch big explosions in the sky, but also come home and set off their own smaller—but not necessarily less noisy—explosions. I’ve given up trying to understand their explosion obsession, but I do know that fireworks are dangerous for pets, and every year many pets and people get seriously injured. So, if your human invites you outside for their little fireworks show, politely decline. And, remind them to pick up leftover firework debris, which a curious pet may mistake for a chew toy and become ill. I speak from experience when I say, “Yuck!”
#4: Consider medication for anxious pets
Most pets are at least somewhat uncomfortable with fireworks’ bright lights and loud noises, but some of our poor friends suffer with extreme fear and anxiety. If you are one of these suffering animals, your veterinarian, fortunately, can prepare you for the scary night with some yummy medicine that makes you feel calmer and less fearful. Remind your human to schedule a veterinary appointment before the big night. One of those nice veterinarians will check that you are healthy, and afraid only of noises, and give your human some magic potion to help you relax once the booms begin.
#5: Ensure your pet’s identification is accurate
We pets know that sometimes we go a little crazy when we are scared. I know that a couple of my friends became so scared on previous July Fourths that they jumped over their fence, ran to get away from the scary display, and got lost. Fortunately, the tags on their collars were engraved with their human’s phone number, and they were returned home safely. Please—you must always wear your collar with identification tags, in case you get a little spooked and run off. To feel even safer, you should ask your human to get your veterinarian to microchip you. They will insert a tiny microchip right under your skin—don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt at all—and should you be lost, and found, your microchip can be scanned to release your human’s contact information in a database. Isn’t that pretty cool!
This July Fourth thing is not going away anytime soon, friends, so it’s up to us to keep our humans—and ourselves—safe. Stay strong my furry friends, and let’s be glad this strange celebration is only one day a year.
Should your pet choose not to listen to Sam the Labrador’s advice, the Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care team is here to help. Remember to make an appointment before the big holiday, so we can help manage your pet’s noise anxiety, or microchip them, and help ensure they enjoy the holiday without being afraid.