From an email...
(DALLAS, TX); June 23, 2005--More than just the heat can be harmful to
your pet during the summer. Memorial Day, Labor Day and the Fourth of
July are the top three holidays for pet emergencies because of outdoor
activities where pets run loose. Firecrackers, with their loud,
startling and scary noises, can also be harmful to your pets' well
being. The SPCA of Texas recommends these tips to make your pets' Fourth
of July a safe one:
· Keep your pets indoors with the air conditioner running and the
windows closed or keep a radio on to help mask out as much noise as
possible. Also try distracting them: follow their regular routine, play
with them or crate them up until the fireworks are over. Make sure they
have current tags and a microchip to ensure their safe return should
they bolt out of fear.
· Be aware of neighborhood pranksters throwing firecrackers over your
fence to frighten your pet. Also be careful using sparklers, as they can
burn animals as well as people.
· Allow your pets the freedom to seek refuge under the bed, behind the
toilet or in the back of the closet. This may soothe them more than
cuddling with them.
· Your dog may not want to accompany you to the local fireworks
extravaganza. He may prefer some nice quiet time in your lap after
everything is over. Also, during the festivities, keep your dog busy
with chew toys.
· If your pet gets especially stressed or your neighborhood is
particularly noisy, you may wish to talk to your veterinarian about the
practicality of using tranquilizers or homeopathic remedies. Consider
sending your pet to a nice quiet boarding kennel for the worst of it.
Even if the proper precautions are taken, some animals may develop
deeply rooted fears of loud noises after fireworks displays or
thunderstorms. Commonly seen effects include: shaking; trembling;
excessive drooling; barking; howling; trying to hide or get into or out
of the house, fence, or other enclosure; refusing to eat food; loss of
bladder or bowel control or temporary diarrhea.
The best way to treat this problem is through preventive conditioning,
the process of desensitizing an animal to loud noises. Start by
introducing your puppy or kitten to loud noises such as handclaps when
they are relatively young. As the animal grows, softly bang pots and
pans together and escalate the noise. Soon your dog or cat will not be
traumatized by loud noises.
This Fourth of July, keep your beloved companion animals indoors where
it is safe.