UTAH

Fireworks and pets: keeping furry friends safe during firework season

Jul 2, 2020, 1:32 PM | Updated: 1:32 pm
fireworks pets...
Cat afraid of loud noise. Fireworks are stress for pets and animals. Firework light outside in background.

SALT LAKE CITY — Pops, bangs and sparkly colors are great for most kids and adults. But, the family pet probably doesn’t think so.

Fireworks are flying off the stands at a record pace this year because of public firework shows being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. And veterinarians are very concerned for the furry friends. 

Many pets are scared of loud noises and how they deal with their stress varies depending on the pet’s personality.  

“You need to get to know your pet and what their needs are,” said Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Jessica Love. “Some need to be close to their owners, others try to find specific hiding places in the home, and then there are the ones which try to get as far away as possible.”

If your pet reacts badly to the sound of fireworks, Love advises using white noise, or a loud television can help block out the sound.  If that doesn’t work, you may want to try desensitizing them.

In order to desensitize the pet, “you need to start several weeks before the 4th or 24th of July, but you can play a recording of fireworks at a very soft level while the pet is eating.” said Love.  “Then every three or four days, slightly turn up the volume.”

If the pet reacts to the increase in volume, lower it again for several more days.

If desensitizing doesn’t work, Dr. Love recommends using sedatives. “You have to talk to your veterinarian before choosing this option,” said Love.  “It depends on your pet’s health as to how much and which type of medication will work.”

Keeping your pets indoors during the July holidays is the advice both veterinarians and animal advocates are giving. Pets running away from loud noises is sometimes their first instinct.

Temma Martin, Public Relations Manager for Best Friends Animal Society, said if your pet is lost, it could be out on the streets a lot longer this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. So, it’s important to have identification on all your pets.

“Some shelters have shorter hours due to lack of staff,” said Martin. “And many animal control officers are only working on an emergency basis. Which means, they aren’t available to pick up lost pets.”

Martin also warned about keeping pets indoors at all times if you light your own fireworks at home.  “Many dogs see those bright objects as a toy, or prey, and will go after it.  If they pick one up with their mouths, it will be disastrous.”

Dr. Love said if you do keep your pet indoors, it’s important to check on them frequently. “Make sure you don’t respond too strongly if your pet is agitated. They can get more stressed by how you react.”  

Both Martin and Love mentioned it isn’t just pets that don’t like fireworks.  “Many soldiers,” Martin said, “especially those from the Gulf War, are especially sensitive to loud cracks and bangs.”

 

Today’s Top Stories

Utah

Photo of Riverton Police, the ones who sent out the amber alert, vehicle...
Mark Jones

8-year-old boy struck by car in Riverton, suffers head injury

Riverton police an 8-year-old boy suffered a head injury Friday night after a collision with a vehicle. The boy was transported to Primary Children's Hospital.
1 day ago
Utah deadliest days UHP investigates double fatal accident....
Mark Jones

One person dead in three-vehicle crash in southern Utah

The Utah Highway Patrol reports that one person died Friday following a three-vehicle crash in southern Utah. One other person was transported to the hospital with injuries.
1 day ago
Herbert Cox statement Reyes election lawsuit...
Mark Jones

State of Utah files lawsuit against pharmaceutical retailers

Three pharmaceutical retailers are facing a lawsuit from the State of Utah. The lawsuit was filed the week of July 1.
1 day ago
Two people have been gored by bison at Yellowstone National Park in less than a week. An expert at ...
Mark Jones

Expert says to give bison their space and distance

An expert at Antelope Island State Park says bison need to be given their space and distance. This message comes after two people were gored by bison at Yellowstone National Park
1 day ago
The National Weather Service of Salt Lake City says there is a red flag warning in effect for Weste...
Lindsay Aerts

Fourth of July weekend weather conditions ripe for fires

The National Weather Service of Salt Lake City says there is a red flag warning in effect for Western Utah. It warns that many fires are human caused.
1 day ago
Salt Lake County is working to make sure its golf courses don't use as much water in the drought....
Martha Harris

Salt Lake County says it has decreased water-use on its golf courses

Salt Lake County says it has back water usage on its golf courses. The county says it has done by changing how they water.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Fireworks and pets: keeping furry friends safe during firework season