Fireworks and pets don’t always mix, so take precautions

Fireworks are great, but some people and pets are not fond of the big booms and flashes of bright lights.

So if you’re planning on celebrating July 4 by being around fireworks (or if your neighborhood makes it impossible to get away from them), be sure to take precautions in case your pets freak out and bolt.

Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter Director Jennifer Earp said more animals go missing around July 4 than any other time of the year.

“Fireworks and animals do not match,” she said. “If you have an animal, we highly recommend not shooting fireworks. If you’re adamant about shooting fireworks, keep your pet inside.”

Most animals’ ears are much more sensitive than ours, so the noise from fireworks can be an overwhelming terror for pets who may be anxious or sensitive to certain noises.

And when animals fear danger, they enter fight or flight mode.

“When they’re gonna hide their behavior can change,” Earp said. “They can snap, they can bite, which becomes a safety problem. Keep your animal safe and secure, keep it inside or don’t shoot fireworks. It’s that simple.”

Now is the perfect time to ensure your pets have proper identification, either via a microchip or a collar with a name tag. If your pet gets out, it’s much easier to find them again if the people who find them can access your contact information.

Even indoors, many animals are frightened of the noises. You can help them stay calm by:

  • Desensitizing them to the noises by acclimating them to the sounds over time. Start with the sounds at a small volume, offer treats and repeat. Your pet will learn that ignoring the sounds means it’s treat time. Win-win.
  • Make sure your pet has a space where they can feel calm, like under a bed or in a closet. Ensure that space has plenty of comfort items like toys, treats and food and water.
  • If you have to take your dog outside to potty, make sure you use a leash so they can’t bolt if there’s noise.
  • If your pet’s anxiety surrounding noises is severe, consider prescription medication.


Categories: Local News