Fireworks and other loud sounds from summer celebrations are known to make some dogs and other pets anxious and stressed.
The Animal Humane Society (AHS), based in Golden Valley, is sharing tips to help prepare pets who have noise aversion or noise phobias from being triggered by fireworks this summer, and other ways to help keep them safe.
Remember, pets are more sensitive than humans to loud noises, flashing lights and strong smells, so even if they haven't been scared by loud noises previously, they could in the future.
Here are some tips to help your pet and keep them safe:
— If your pet gets anxious and stressed during fireworks, you can play recordings of firework sounds starting a few weeks before July 4. Start playing them quietly and gradually turn up the volume while engaging with your pet by giving them treats and toys. Doing this helps your pet associate the loud sounds with positive things (treats, toys).
— Speak to your veterinarian if your dog is fearful during fireworks, thunderstorms and other loud noises. There are some prescribed medications that may help reduce your pet's anxiety levels, AHS says.
— During fireworks shows and other noise-filled events, create a safe haven for your pet in an interior room of your home. Add bedding, treats and toys, shut the curtains, leave the lights on and play white noise or music, which can help drown out the sound of firecrackers.
— Don't take your pet to fireworks shows, don't leave them in your car and don't leave them outside unattended — even if you have a fenced-in yard. If they get spooked, they could bolt.
The Animal Humane Society says more pets go missing on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year.
In case your pet does go missing, it's important to make sure they're always wearing a collar and ID tags with your phone number and address (even if they're full-time indoor animals). And if your pet is microchipped (it's recommended), make sure your information is up to date so anyone who finds your pet can easily get in touch.
The Animal Humane Society has resources to help you find your lost pet here, as well as additional ways to prevent your pet from getting lost. And here are some tips for keeping your pet safe during the hot summer months.