Memorial Day Pet Safety

Keep your pets happy and safe.

If you're a pet parent, you know that holidays can be fun for humans but are not always the same for our pets. Our time to celebrate can also be a scary time for cats and dogs, which can make celebrating heartbreaking and challenging.

Most pets are terrified of fireworks. "What is this scary, loud sound and where is it coming from? How do I get away?" This fear doesn't just make them miserable for a night, but can also be a safety risk. In these situations, animals tend to go into fight-or-flight mode and are likely to get lost if proper precautions are not taken. We've put together some great tips to help your furry friends get through the holidays as safely and as calmly as possible.

  1. Keep them at home. Make alternate arrangements for your pets if you plan to leave the house or go out of town. This may mean having a regular sitter or responsible family member stay with your pets while you are away. Do not plan to take them to any festivities with you.
  2. Create a safe spot inside your home for your pets. They may already have a favorite spot, such as a crate or closet. In this case, make this space easily accessible to them, cover the crate with a blanket, and turn on the TV, music, or a white noise machine in the room to give them background noise. 
  3. Remove the visual stimulation of fireworks. Even if they have to hear them, closing windows, doors, blinds and curtains will help your pet feel less overwhelmed.
  4. Make sure to feed, water, and take your pet for a bathroom break before dark when the fireworks begin. We recommend keeping them inside the entire time any fireworks may be in progress.
  5. Wear them out! Try your best to exercise your pet before the festivities. Typically, a tired pet is a calm pet. During the earlier daylight hours, try playing with your pet's favorite toys or taking them for a long walk around the block.
  6. Give your pets something to do for the evening - a Kong frozen with all-natural peanut butter is a great option for pups. Catnip or puzzle toys are captivating for many cats. Give this to your pet just before the fireworks start to allow them to be occupied by something other than the sparkle booms. 
  7. Microchip your pet. In the event that they panic and somehow escape your grasp or your home, the likeliness of being reunited with them is much higher if they are microchipped and registered. Make sure your microchip information is updated as well.
  8. Try medications or supplements, as approved by your vet. If your pet is overly anxious and the above methods do not work for them, we recommend you visit your veterinarian to discuss other options for controlling anxiety, such as vet-prescribed medications.

PAWS Atlanta wishes you a happy and safe Memorial Day!

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