Whether you’re celebrating Canada Day or Independence Day, fireworks can be hazardous and scary to our furry companions. While some pets may enjoy the commotion of these holidays, the backyard barbecues and plentiful fireworks can be stressful and hazardous for many.
Trupanion receives more anxiety-related claims in July than any other month of the year. Specifically, in 2014, we received 45% more anxiety-related claims in July than the average month. Many times, the claims in July list noise or fireworks a cause of the anxiety. It’s not fun to watch your pet in distress, and frightened pets have a greater chance of running away. So how can you keep your pet happy and safe?
Trupanion veterinarian, Dr. Denise Petryk, provided some tips to keep your pet safe and stress-free for Canada Day and the Fourth of July.
1. Beat the heat. Many families spend a lot of time outdoors on Canada Day and the Fourth. Make sure your pet has access to shade and plenty of water throughout the day. If your pet has short or white fur, you may want to invest in pet-safe sunscreen to keep them from getting burned.
2. During the barbecue, don’t feed your pet scraps from the grill. And watch to make sure they stay out of the trash. Rich table scraps can give your pet a serious stomach ache and non-digestible foods like bones and corn-on-the-cob can damage their digestive tract.
3. Give your pet a safe space during the celebrations. Your pet will feel most secure in a familiar, safe environment. This could be a bedroom, a crate, or a favorite gated-off area where your pet spends a lot of their time. Make sure they have access to a comfortable bed, favorite toys, and water throughout the night.
4. Provide white noise to drown out the sound of fireworks. You can leave the television or radio on, or just turn on a fan in the room to help sound-sensitive pets get through the evening.
5. Talk to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety tools and training. There are many products available to help decrease anxiety—from body wraps to edible treats. Your veterinarian will help you determine the best tools to help your pet reduce anxiety. There are also methods available to help condition your pet to the noise over time.
6. Keep identification on your pet at all times. Unfortunately, many pets get lost during the first week in July, especially on July 4. Even if you follow all of these tips, your stressed pet may find a way to get out of the house. Always keep an ID on your pet with updated information and consider microchipping your pet just in case their collar or harness slips