Dogs | Cats | June 30, 2016

Pets and Fireworks: Keeping your pets safe this holiday

Dog and boy sitting by the fire

Fourth of July and Canada Day celebrations are almost upon us, and for most cities and towns, this means loud fireworks displays. It’s great fun for humans, but fear and anxiety inducing for dogs – and cats too. I know the risks all too well as many years ago, one of my three dogs was with me at the lake, when fireworks went off right beside us. My pup bolted straight for home, and in the most direct path possible, across roads and yards. I felt lucky that my beloved pup was fine and anxiously waiting for me at home, but I have since taken precautions for my dogs and would like to share some tips with you to keep your pets safe and stress-free:

  • Control the noise: Try to block out the noise of the fireworks with other sounds they are familiar and comfortable with – like the TV or some music. You can do this whether you are at home, or out – just leave something on for them
  • Desensitize them to fireworks: You can mimic the experience by playing fireworks CDs or YouTube videos in advance, and treat them as they are playing. This will help lessen their anxiety and reaction to the actual fireworks
  • Create a safe space: Many dogs feel secure in their crate, and you can make it even more cozy by putting a blanket over it and providing a few of their favourite toys
  • Let them out in advance of the festivities: Plan your dog’s bathroom break prior to the fireworks, so they will be indoors / contained when they start – and if you have an outdoor cat, bring them inside
  • IDs are a must: The best place for your dog during fireworks is at home, it is safer for everyone. But if you have them out, make sure they are contained and/or leashed, and are microchipped and have ID tags

Have a safe and happy holiday with your furry family!