How to protect your pet from firework stress on July Fourth

More dogs run away during the Fourth of July than any other day of the year according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Although many people have fun during the holiday, the booming fireworks and noisy celebrations can be very nerve-wracking for any animal — not just dogs.

“It can be stressful for any pet not used to noise and things that are going on on the Fourth of July,” said Dr. Mike Cary, a reindeer owner and breeder who works as a veterinarian at Towne and Country Veterinary Hospital in Corning. “At picnics, there may be food left out that they eat that they are not supposed to eat. Because of flashing lights, dogs scared of thunderstorms will be upset.

Fireworks set off by individuals and families are a bigger concern than community fireworks displays, although bringing pets to community displays is heavily discouraged.

However, if they are outside, they should be on a leash, said Dr. Jennifer Biasillo, owner and medical director of Veterinary Care of Ithaca.

“Dogs’ reactions can range from subtle, such as panting and pacing, to stronger reactions such as running away, shaking, hiding and some can even turn destructive by digging into a carpet or couch,” Biasillo said.

Cary has a few tips to make Independence Day less scary for furry family members.

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