DENVER, June 11 /PRNewswire/ — With its loud fireworks, the 4th of July holiday can be a particularly stressful time for pets. To avoid pet anxiety and injury, the American Animal Hospital Association ( http://www.healthypet.com ) suggests the following tips for a safe Fourth.
— Keep pets away from all fireworks. Burns, hearing loss and eye damage can occur if your pet is too close to explosions.
— Dispose of all fireworks properly, in a trashcan that pets can’t open. Pets may eat leftover fragments, developing digestive problems or even serious injuries.
— Pets who are extremely nervous and frightened by noise may try to run away. In their panic, they can become lost and even run into traffic. Keep doors, windows and other escape paths shut, and be sure your pet is wearing identification tags, even your indoors-only cat.
— Consider confining your pet in a crate or kennel in an interior room where noise is muffled. This method prevents self-injury to frantic animals who may try to burrow through floorboards or jump through windows. It will also save your home from any property damage — very frightened dogs have been known to chew through doors!
— If you must leave your pet outside, be certain that the yard is securely fenced, both to keep your pet from wandering off and to keep strangers from wandering in. Even the gentlest animals can become aggressive when frightened.
Severe stress can cause health problems in pets just as it can in people. Signs of pet anxiety include shaking, pacing, excessive panting or drooling, hiding and even uncontrolled urination or defecation. If you have noticed your pet show these symptoms when exposed to loud noise in the past, visit your veterinarian before the Fourth. Your veterinarian can help you decide if your pet needs a sedative, tranquilizer or anti-anxiety medication to ease the stress.
The American Animal Hospital Association is an international organization of more than 25,000 veterinary care providers who treat companion animals. Established in 1933, the association is well known among veterinarians for its high standards for hospitals and pet health care. For more pet care information or to find an AAHA hospital near you, visit the AAHA website at http://www.healthypet.com.