■ By William A. Weimer / ContrIbuted
With the Fourth of July rapidly approaching, a good reminder to friends and customers that some pets adversely react to the lights and noise of fireworks. With a little extra effort, our pets can be spared the trauma they sometimes experience from fireworks.
Those involved in the fireworks industry suggest that you please be mindful of the following:
• Keep your pets indoors during fireworks displays
• Turn on the TV or radio and air conditioning to help mask the noise of the fireworks
• Keep pets in a soothing, dark room with light jazz or classical music playing
• The idea is to muffle the fireworks noise with something soothing
• Close draperies to help soundproof the residence
• Many suggest walking or exercising the pet prior to the fireworks in an effort to tire out the pet and hopefully the pet will sleep through the fireworks
• Be home or have someone at home indoors with the pet to offer encouragement and support for the pet
• Close all windows and doors and block pet doors to prevent escape
• Try distracting the pet as soon as the fireworks begin by involving the pet in something enjoyable like a game of fetch
• Prepare a safe area where the pet can “burrow in” to feel safe. Some blankets under a bed or a blanket draped over a small table are good methods.
• Play a radio near that area.
• Feeding the pet in the area will also help the pet associate the area with other good things
Do not take your animal to a fireworks show or let the pet outdoors while fireworks are being used.
You might consider consulting with your veterinarian several weeks before fireworks season. Some pets may require sedation. The veterinarian could suggest some behavior modification techniques.
Many of the above suggestions have come from Blue Cross for Pets (UK); Pet MD; Humane Society of U.S.; and The Telegraph (UK), and the Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif..
Enjoy the Independence Day holiday safely and show courtesy and compassion to your pets and animals.
William A. Weimer is the vice president of Phantom Fireworks, Youngstown, Ohio