Loud fireworks and animals are a very bad mix

We have a hard time believing that reasonable people are not aware that setting off loud fireworks can profoundly frighten animals, principally dogs and cats but other critters, too.

According to the Humane Society of the united States’ website, many animals become so frightened by the noise and commotion of fireworks that they run from otherwise familiar environments and people, and sadly become lost. They may also suffer devastating or even fatal health effects from the stress. The sudden bright flashes and sounds can cause wild animals to run into roadways, resulting in more car accidents than normal.

Predatory birds, like bald eagles, see the harsh sounds and lights from fireworks as a threat and may abandon their nests or habitats entirely.

Here are a handful of common sense suggestions about fireworks and animals from the society:

1. Keep your pet safely away from fireworks.

Pets are more sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and strong smells. On the Fourth of July, and other days people are likely to set off fireworks, it’s best to leave your pets safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV turned on to soften jarring noises.

2. If your pet is scared by fireworks, ask a veterinarian for help. There are medications and techniques that might help alleviate your pet’s fear and anxiety.

3. Protect your pet from heat stroke during summer festivities.

Another reason to keep your pets away from the often noisy celebrations of summer is heat. High temperatures put your pet at risk of heat stroke, which can become deadly very quickly. Keep an eye on your pets and act immediately if you see any signs of heatstroke.

4. Safeguard your pet with a collar and ID tag.

All pets, even those kept indoors full-time, should always wear collars with ID tags. Indoor-only pets can become so frightened during fireworks displays that they may take desperate measures to escape the noise, including breaking through windows or door screens.

5. Encourage celebrations that use safer, more animal-friendly alternatives. Consider working with local officials to require the use of colorful “silent” or “quiet” fireworks for public celebrations.

Laser shows can be evocative of fireworks while being far less damaging to wildlife and polluting to the environment.

Of course, when stopping time arrives and the beer is flowing, a great many people continue shooting them off.

That’s illegal and the police tell us they will issue citations if they catch people doing it.

Use your head and be mindful of the pup or kitty next door or down the block. They’re not having any fun. They’re terrified.


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