• By: Laura Lynn O’nan, Education Coordinator

Fireworks fallout

July has arrived, which means most Americans have already been celebrating Independence Day with family and friends, lighting up the sky with colorful lights and loud kabooms, for a solid week. For our pets, it’s more of a nightmare with the overwhelming, number of unfamiliar faces that come to visit and the loud cracks and pops that flood the night sky. With all the extra commotion of the festivities, it’s easy for us pet owners to forget that our pets are in need of some special treatment to ease their anxiety and stress.

If your pets have been struggling this week, do your best to keep them calm until the last of the neighborhood fireworks have stopped.

Prepare a place in your home as a safe haven for your pets to spend the evening. Pick a small, quiet, dark room to keep your pet comfortable during the business of the celebration, preferably in an area of the home with very little to no foot traffic. Provide all their favorite comforts to keep them cozy as they hang out for the night.

If you still have some celebrating of your own to do and your dog is joining you outside during the daytime actives, be sure you provide plenty of cool water and a shady area to get out of the direct sun. Limit their time outside; with the heat and humidity this summer is promising to bring, pets can quickly become overheated and dehydrated. Be sure to keep your eye on them and look for early signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, such as heavy panting, disorientation, and labored, noisy breathing. If you feel your pet is exhibiting these signs, contact your vet office immediately.

Also, be sure you keep a collar with identification tags on your pet at all times, just in case a visiting guest leaves a gate or door open.

Fourth of July is the biggest time of the year for pets to go missing from their homes. Pets are curious by nature and are known to wander even without the lively activities taking place throughout the neighborhood. If you add frightening noises and commotion, they are more likely to panic and run off until the scary noises subside. Once the dawn breaks the next morning, many pets find themselves lost and trying to find their way home. Without the help of some type of identification, it can be difficult for your pet to be reunited with their owners.

If your pet has already had a stressful week and you know there’s more to come, we hope these steps help ease their mind for the rest of the fireworks season. For more information contact the Adoption Center at 859.873.5491 or manager@woodfordhumane.org.

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