The smartest ways to keep your pets safe during Central NY’s fireworks season
Fireworks season is officially here with scores of Central New Yorkers launching big, bright, sparkly boomers that aren't exactly legal in the state. But some people -- and their pets -- dread this time of year.
More dogs go missing in the summer than any other season
The American Kennel Club estimates that July 4 is the day where the most dogs run away from home. Obviously, fireworks are a leading cause of that unfortunate statistic.
Animal experts say some pups will do just about anything to get away from the bright lights and crackling booms -- like jump through glass windows or slip their leash. We see the headlines every year.
So, here's a few guidelines on how to avoid joining the future league of pet owners begging for the safe return of their precious pooch.
1. Don't bring your dog to a fireworks show
This one is obvious. Although there's a growing number of pet friendly places, a fireworks show isn't really one of them. This especially applies to people with dogs that freak out during thunderstorms.
There have been numerous stories of dogs being brought to such shows and then escaping their leash or biting their owner amid the flashing lights and bangs. While some of those pets were eventually found, sometimes days later, others have wound up vanishing permanently into the night.
It's better to be safe than sorry. Leave the dog at home. They might be happy to never know what they missed.
2. Set up a safe space at home
If you have a dog barks, whines, pants, drools excessively or tremble during thunderstorms -- you should assume fireworks will also stress them out. You should set up a space where your dog will feel protected from the unknown noises and lights.
Experts say setting up a den-like area could be a perfect place for your dog to retreat to if they need a place to hide. It's best to consult your vet to lay out an action plan to ensure you set up the best safe space for your beloved pooch.
3. Look into items intended to calm anxious pets
Some pet owners swear by CBD oil while others sing the praises of the ThunderShirt or the white noise machine. Because there are many items on the internet claiming to be the one and only miracle cure, it's best to check with your veterinarian and see what they'd recommend... and buy it.
5. Check to see if your pet's ID is up to date
While most people think their pet will never run away, experts say it's smart of have a plan in place in case the unfortunate happens. This means ensuring your dog has proper identification on its tags.
Experts also encourage pet owners to get their dog microchipped. That makes it easier for rescuers to locate you should pup ever go missing. There are also means to put a GPS tracker on your dog, like an Apple AirTag on their collar, so you can locate your panicked pet more quickly.
5. Hire a trainer to desensitize your pets to fireworks
Although Independence Day is less than a week away, experts say you can always start planning for next year. A trainer could help your dog work through their anxieties so that their reactions to fireworks won't be as severe -- and also teach you a thing or two to better respond to your pet's needs.