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Animal Safety During Fireworks

With Independence Day celebrations sure to begin over the weekend, the Humane Society of Washington County would like to remind pet owners that fireworks can be a scary experience for their animals. Many animals, especially dogs, are frightened by loud noises and unfamiliar sounds.

“People love fireworks, but pets don’t,” said Crystal Mowery, Field Services Director. “Many shelters see an increase in lost pets over the holiday. We hope we can prevent that from happening by reminding people to keep their animals safely inside during firework displays.”

Here are some tips from The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA to help reduce your pet’s anxiety and stress during fireworks this July 4th holiday.

  • During festivities, keep your pets in a quiet, escape-proof area at home. Always make sure your pet is secured before opening a door to the outside of the home.
  • Bring pets who are usually outside indoors.
  • Check where and when firework displays are being held in your area. Also ask your neighbors to let you know if they are planning anything.
  • Make a safe den for your pet to retreat if he or she feels scared and respect their desire to hide.
  • Distract your pet from the noise by turning on a TV or radio.
  • Walk your dog before dusk. It may be some time before it’s safe to venture outside again for your dog to relieve himself.
  • Keep a collar and ID tag on your pet and make sure he or she is microchipped in case of accidental escape.
  • Leave your pet at home if you’re going to a firework display. If you must take your pet, make sure he or she is leashed and under your control at all times.
  • Watch for stress. Even if your dog doesn’t bark or whimper, don’t assume he or she is content. Excessive yawning and panting can indicate that your dog is stressed.
  • If your dog must be outside, tie him or her up while fireworks are being set off.

In the event that your animal does escape, please fill out a Lost & Found Report on our website.

Watch WDVM's detailed story on this issue here.