For pets and pet owners July in Utah can be a stressful month. Utah not only boasts some of the largest fireworks displays in the nation but July in the Beehive State is host to another day filled with pyrotechnics: Pioneer Day. That’s over two days filled with acrid fumes and loud explosions, both of which can send even the most well behaved pet into a state of panic. Panicked pets can run away and are then exposed to other dangers.
Being a proud owner to a fiesty feline named Lucy I decided to reach out and get some advice from my favorite veterinarian; Jessica Hovet on how to keep pets safe on Independence Day. In the past I’d let Lu seek out her own safe place in my apartment but a recent move put me and Lucy mere blocks from the location of Provo’s “Stadium of Fire”. Here is what Jessica had to say:
“My best advice would be for people to keep their pets indoors. Even the calmest pets can become scared with all the loud noises and flashes that come with fireworks. If you know that your pet is anxious during fireworks, create a calm safe space for them in an interior room, like a bathroom, where the noise may be more muffled. If your dog is crate trained, that can be a very reassuring spot to be for an anxious dog. For cats the same applies. If you are going to be in and out of your house during the festivities, it may be a good idea to keep them sequestered in a single room with their food and boxes so that they won’t have a chance to run out the doors.
If you must have your dog outside while you are setting off or watching fireworks, they should always be on a leash with a properly fitting collar (snug, can only fit 2 fingers underneath) and always restrained by an (attentive) adult.
If your pet has anxiety so severe that you fear property destruction or harm to the animal themselves, make sure you visit your veterinarian as you may be able to get some medications that will help take the edge off for your pet during the scariest periods of the holiday.”
Jessica Hovet is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a graduate from the University Of Minnesota College Of Veterinary Medicine. She is a Utah native currently in practice in MN.