Many will spend time enjoying the many fireworks displays in the area. But for your pets — it may not be such a good time.
Barks and whimpers is what many pet owners may also hear this Fourth Of July. While humans anticipate the big light show in the sky, many cats and dogs are petrified of the firework booms. Winnebago County Animal Services adoption coordinator Donna Apgar says owners can do a variety of things to help their furry friends calm down.
“Trying to close them off from the noise is the best thing,” said Apgar. “You don’t want to take your dog down to the fireworks. If you want to go down and enjoy the fireworks, that’s great but leave your pets at home.”
Dr. Patricia Holm is the owner of Auburn Animal Clinic in Rockford. She says in her experience, putting on some type of anxiety vest on an animal can be very helpful.
“If they take and just wrap a little cloth, a blanket or a little shirt, and hold them it can often help,” said Holm. “They like feeling secure. It’s kind of like swaddling a baby.”
Holm says if any pets are to be left alone during the holiday, it’s crucial to plan ahead for the safety of the animal.
“Maybe crank up the music,” said Holm. “[Crank up] the television to kind of drown out some of the sound. That way they don’t hear the vibrations and the sound.”
Experts say more dogs go missing on the Fourth Of July than on any other day of the year.
“Even if you have a fenced yard, you might consider taking your dog out on a leash,” said Apgar. “Some dogs have been known to jump fences if they get spooked.”
Apgar says if residents are setting off any type of firework, they should inspect the yard before letting any animal out.
“You don’t want them picking up that used sparkler and swallowing it. Or picking up that used firecracker, and chewing on it or swallowing it because its probably not healthy for them.”