Happy Independence Day! Before you go off celebrating, take a bit of time to prepare your pets and livestock. The fireworks are fun for humans, but extremely stressful for your animals – they think the world might be ending. More pets go missing on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. With a little preparation, you can help your furry companions get through the night. Here are a few 4th of July safety tips for pets and livestock:
Before the Big Day:
- Familiarize yourself with the state laws regarding fireworks. Because of our proximity to South Carolina, it’s not a bad idea to check out what’s for sale and compare. This can help you figure out what you may want to purchase for yourself, and what you may hear from your neighbors. WJBF has a breakdown of what’s legal in each state, and the laws surrounding them, including timing, age, etc. There are options available that are less noisy, and by choosing those, right away you are helping your animals.
- Create an escape-proof space for your pets in your home with their favorite comfort items, preferably in the quietest room you have in your home. Have them hang out there for periods of time before the 4th of July so they know their surroundings.
- Take a photo of your pet to have on hand in case they do run away on the 4th, and double check your information is current if they are microchipped.
- Consider downloading the ASPCA app. It’s free, and is full of resources for your pets, including a personalized, missing pet recovery kit. It’s available for both iPhone and Android.
- Extra love and maybe a few treats can’t hurt.
4th of July Safety Tips for Pets and Livestock: The big day
- Bring your outdoor animals inside, after they’ve had a walk and a chance to exercise. Get them a little on the tired side before the festivities.
- Remember that escape-proof space you prepared? Bring your pets to the room, and turn on the television, radio or a white noise machine to help drown out the scary noises.
- Crate them if that’s comfortable for them, but leave the door open.
- Please don’t bring your dogs to a fireworks display. That’s asking for trouble.
- If you have horses, bring them into your barn, and add extra blankets and padding in their stalls. That can help deaden the sounds.
- Bring your pastured livestock into a safely fenced area of your property.
After the Celebrations:
- Check your property for fireworks debris before allowing your pets and livestock to roam free again. Fido may eat something he shouldn’t and an emergency trip to the vet the day after the 4th of July holiday is no fun for anybody.
- Also check for food scraps if you hosted a BBQ with a variety of foods. Human food can be very bad for animals, so take a little extra time to clean up anything that may be lying around. Foods your pets should avoid include: rich and fatty meats, corn on the cob, grapes, raisins, and xylitol, common in sugar-free chewing gum. Xylitol can be used in diabetic-friendly desserts, but can be fatal to your pets. Be vigilant!
- Get them back to a regular routine with you once you’re sure everything is safe and they are ready.
Check on our Veterans
One more thought: the noise from fireworks can also be very distressing to our nation’s Veterans. Reach out, check on your neighbors, and offer assistance if necessary. Caring for each other is the American way.
By taking advantage of these 4th of July safety tips for pets and livestock, your animals will stay safe and sane, AND SO WILL YOU.
Have a wonderful, fun-filled, safe holiday!