Today is a day your pet most likely hates. The continuous loud blasts are terrifying for many of them, and might just lead to them acting out in very undesirable ways. So here's a couple things to keep them, and you, safe and happy.

When we were talking about fireworks safety for people, it was all about staying away from the firework itself.  For pet safety however, it's not as much about being near the firework. It's about the unavoidable "booms" in the air, whether you are causing them or not.  In fact most calls into Animal Care and Control involve pets who get so spooked that they break loose and run away, or even worse, they lose control and bite.

As the fireworks pop and bang and sparkle, many pets get stressed out, and fear can cause them to break through screens, jump fences, and flee. They just don’t think or behave as they normally do.” ~Diane Webber, Program Manager, Cedar Rapids Animal Care & Control

Romy Yanda

I know for my childhood dog, she'd do everything to hide, and would get stuck in a corner she couldn't get out of, meaning no food or water, which was bad enough.  Another dog we had would loose control of her bladder, which meant we'd come home from the celebration to a big mess. Our friends had a dog who would tear things up when they got nervous.  Let's just say their brand new couch was never the same after the 4th. I'm sure many of you, or your friends, have very similar, if not unfortunate stories.


Here's a couple things to keep in mind on this special holiday:


  • Leave the dog and cat at home - preferably inside, in a dark, cool, comfortable, and familiar environment -- such as a kennel.
  • Play calm, soothing music, and be sure to pull the shades and draw the curtains, so the flashes won't alarm them.
  • Don't cuddle, coo and comfort them with affectionate assurances that everything will be okay. It’s not okay, and while you think you are assuring them that everything will be all right, the dog thinks you are confirming that his panicked reaction is the right one. Instead, act like the noise and flashes are normal -- in other words, don’t react one way or another. Dogs will watch your behavior and learn from it.
  • The loud booms can damage the sensitive hearing of dogs and cats. It’s best to keep them inside away from the noise.
  • If a pet suffers a burn or injury, take it to a veterinarian immediately. The vet can determine the extent of the injury and administer anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the pain.
  • If your pet accidentally eats fireworks or their remnants, call your vet. Depending on what the animal ate, it may be necessary to induce vomiting.
  • If your pet goes missing this Fourth of July, don’t hesitate to call Animal Care and Control. Call immediately (319) 286-5993 and report your lost pet. Hopefully, we can get your pet reunited with you efficiently.

[VIA Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control]