K-State veterinarian offers pet safety tips ahead of Fourth of July holiday

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 7:56 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Fourth of July is this weekend and while it may be a fun holiday for people, a Kansas State University veterinarian said that’s not the case for some pets.

“This holiday is often a time filled with fear and anxiety for some pets and it can also be a dangerous time for them as well,” said Susan Nelson, clinical professor at the K-State Veterinary Health Center.

Nelson encourages pet owners to speak to their veterinarian now about medication options if needed, since the majority of fireworks will be set off over the weekend this year when the vet’s office is likely closed.

She also offers several tips to keep pets safe this holiday:

  • Keep pets indoors and on a leash when outside
  • Play soothing music or turn on the TV to block out the loud crackles and booms
  • Get an anxiety wrap specially made for pets to help calm them
  • Use over-the-counter medications made for anxious pets
  • Consider temporary relocating pets to a quieter friend/relative’s house

Nelson said keeping pets indoors or on a leash when outside can help keep them from getting lost. She recommends making sure your pet has some type of ID, such as a tag and/or microchip, in case it should get lost.

“The sound of fireworks can make some pets runoff in an attempt to get away from the noise,” Nelson continued saying, “In fact, this is the time of year with the highest incidence of runaway pets, so be sure to keep them secure.”

Besides getting lost, Nelson said there is also the risk of pets getting hit by a car because their fear of fireworks will make them less observant of oncoming traffic.

It’s also important to keep fireworks and other dangerous items out of a pet’s reach.

Nelson said, “Even if your dog is not bothered by fireworks, it is still subject to being burned or injured by fireworks if it gets too close or attempts to retrieve one that has been ignited. Many fireworks also contain toxic chemicals if ingested.”

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