Animal experts warn pet owners to monitor their pets during July 4 fireworks displays

They say that both dogs and cats can get scared and anxious by the loud noises of fireworks.

Amanda Eustice

Jul 2, 2024, 9:40 PM

Updated 11 days ago


It's another day at the Brookdale Dog Park in Bloomfield for Chackey, the Queensland heeler. Owner Brian Barnes says the park is his dog’s happy place.
But while Chackey may be relaxed now, Barnes is worried about later on in the week, when fireworks will be set off throughout the area, making the dog anxious and scared.
"He is cage trained, so what we do is we cover it with a blanket, throw some stuff in there for him so with the fireworks it's a refuge for him. He gets into the cage and it calms him down," Barnes said.
Adrienne Carson is the vice president of Behavior and Training at St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison. She says the loud sounds and lights from fireworks can make pets frightened and sometimes even destructive.
She says knowing your pet and preparing in advance is key to making sure they are comfortable.
"Find the quietest space in the house and allow them to chill out there...even if it's a closet, a walk-in closet where your clothing’s going to be buffering the sound muffling the sound a little bit," said Carson.
Dogs aren't the only ones who are scared of fireworks. Shelter workers say cats get spooked, too. There are several things cat owners can do to make sure their animal isn't triggered or scared by fireworks.
"Cats have sensitive hearing. So anything that's loud, flashes of light could traumatize a cat as well," Carson said.
Carson notes that July 4 is one of the biggest days of the year when pets get loose.
"It's really important to make sure that your doors and windows are closed and that you are checking and making sure that if you're outside with your animal that your animals are not off leash. Don't let your cats out on fireworks days,” says Carson.
She also says there are medicines that a veterinarian can prescribe to help with pet anxiety.

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