NEW ORLEANS – July 5 is one of the busiest days for animal shelters across the country as dogs break their restraints and flee their homes due to anxiety and fear from fireworks displays. Fireworks typically occur once or twice each year so the loud noises and flashes of light can catch your pet off guard.
- If you live near the location of a fireworks display, leave your pet inside and try using a white noise machine or playing soft music to help calm your pet and block the sounds of the fireworks. If your pet is particularly fearful of fireworks make every effort to stay inside with them.
- Be proactive and exercise your dog before the fireworks commence. A tired dog is less anxious.
- Be sure all pets, including indoor cats, wear current ID tags. Consider microchipping your pet if they are not already.
- You can also stuff a Kong or other work-to-eat toy with special treats for your dog to work on during the fireworks. This can also help your pet associate the scary noises with good things.
- Do not punish your pet during times of stress as this can only make the problem worse. It is perfectly acceptable, and advisable, to comfort your pet when they are fearful.
- If it is absolutely necessary to be outside with dogs during fireworks displays, ensure each dog is secure on a leash or harness.
- Make sure outside dogs are secure in the yard, all gates are locked along with possible holes closed.
“During holidays like the Fourth, we urge pet owners to keep in mind that what’s fun for us can be downright frightening for our pets,” says Louisiana SPCA CEO, Ana Zorrilla. “That’s why it’s so important to keep them safe and inside. No one wants to experience having their pet become lost or injured.”
To report a lost pet, the Louisiana SPCA encourages you to fill out an online lost report at www.louisianaspca.org/lost.