Fireworks frenzy: Keeping your pets safe and contained during su - - Columbia, South Carolina

Fireworks frenzy: Keeping your pets safe and contained during summer fireworks

Fireworks can cause stress and anxiety in some pets (Source: KFDA) Fireworks can cause stress and anxiety in some pets (Source: KFDA)

Chances are you've already heard the loud pops, whistles and booms of fireworks.

The unexpected loud noises can also startle your animals at home.

"For some animals, they take it in stride. It doesn't seem to affect them at all,” said Dr. Dai McWhorter, a veterinarian at Animal Medical Center. “For other animals, it's extremely scary and frightening, very nerve-wracking. It really throws their anxiety levels through the roof."

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Their reactions can range from mild to extreme.

"Everything from try to hide under the bed, to climb into your lap, try to escape from a house,” said Dr. McWhorter. “Some will even break windows, jump over a fence, dig under fences, run away."

McWhorter says it can even affect their sleeping and eating patterns for days or weeks.

If you have a pet at home, animal experts have a number of solutions to help during fireworks, like making sure your pet is in a safe, confined space, playing music or using other audio to block out the noises and even using thundershirts to keep them swaddled and feeling safe.

However, despite safety measures during fireworks, many pets still escape with some ending up at the shelter.

"The busiest time of year for us,” said Richard Havens, director of Animal Management and Welfare for the City of Amarillo. “Animals are scared, people don't keep their animals contained and even animals that do normally stay contained will find a way to get loose."

Havens says the first thing to do if your dog does get out is to immediately start searching.

"Look all around your neighborhood, contact your neighbors if maybe they contained your animal and at the same point in time, also look on Facebook, Facebook, Facebook,” said Havens. “That is an amazing tool to reconnect lost animals with their lost owners.”

Havens also suggests making sure your pet is microchipped, but that if your pet does get out, to not give up on finding them.

"Don't ever give up hope. We have reunited lost animals with their lost owners years after the fact so don't ever lose hope,” said Havens. “You have got to be diligent."

According to McWhorter and Havens, if you are still worried about your pet's anxiety during fireworks, you can speak to your vet about prescriptions or homeopathic remedies to help calm them.

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