Fireworks, barbecues and other Fourth of July traditions are soon upon us. They are a lot of fun for people, but they may not be fun for your animals.
The loud “pop” from noisy fireworks can startle animals and can cause them to run away or can cause them great anxiety. My dogs Pixie and Riley become very frightened by loud noises like thunder, alarms and fireworks. Pixie especially suffers from severe anxiety and it can take a lot to calm her down.
Our cattle also become startled when they hear loud fireworks too. With the upcoming holiday around the corner, what are some tips for keeping your pets and livestock safe?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more pets get lost on July 4 than any other day of the year.
The first tip the AVMA recommends is to be sure your animals are wearing identification. Specifically, dogs and cats should have visible collars and ID tags.
If your pets aren’t already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. It can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost.
They recommend having current photos of your animals available and know the exact number of livestock you have. During cookouts, ask guests to play with your dog away from the grill and any open campfire flames.
It’s also a good idea to exercise your dog earlier in the day so they are tired before the festivities begin.
Keep charcoal, fireworks, sparklers, glow sticks and anything else away from curious dogs and animals. Ask any guests to not table feed your pets and keep food secure to avoid any pet poisoning.
Have your veterinarian’s or poison control numbers available in case of emergency.
Leave your dogs securely and safely at home during fireworks displays and if they are afraid, play gentle music to cover the noise. Keep horses and livestock in safely fenced areas and as far from the excitement and noise as possible.
Stampedes look cool in the movies, but when it’s your own cows, it’s a scary experience.
We never shoot fireworks off at our farms because we want and need to keep our animals safe and secure. After the festivities, check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax.
Check your pastures and remove debris to protect horses and livestock.
Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.
If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.
With these tips, I hope that everyone’s animals stay safe so the festivities can be fun for all! I’m really hoping that I won’t have to chase cattle or have very anxious dogs to take care of. Happy Fourth of July everyone!