Experts offer tips to help your pets have a safe 4th of July weekend

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 6:36 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s one of those weekends that most Americans look forward to.

They enjoy hanging out with family and watching the sky filled with breathtaking visuals.

But it’s also one of the most dangerous times of the year for your pets.

“We see a lot of pets getting out and we see a lot of self-harm happen to pets whenever they are hearing the fireworks go off,” said Brittany McClendon, a veterinarian with the Animal Health Clinic off Perkins Road.

She said because the holiday can be traumatic for animals, particularly dogs, they can have a panic reaction to loud noises from fireworks, which can lead to extreme anxiety. But luckily, there are medications that could help.

“They can also provide sedation during these stressful times. And there’s one medication in particular that I like. It’s called Trazodone. The medication is safe for animals and can vary in dosage. That’s one that we use quite often in veterinary medicine, especially for thunderstorms and fireworks,” added McClendon.

Leaving unused fireworks lying around the house can also be dangerous.

“There are harmful chemicals within the fireworks and the packaging can be harmful to them. It can cause an obstruction or it can damage their insides if they ingest the fireworks,” explained McClendon.

To avoid any potential problems, it’s best to make sure your dogs are brought indoors and put into kennels with the windows closed and some loud noise with music or turning on the TV to tune out the explosions. But just in case your pet does manage to run away, make sure ahead of time that there’s a way to identify them.

“Ideally, have a microchip and you can get a tag that you can put the dog’s collar with the microchip information, as well as your name and phone number,” said McClendon.

You also want to have the nearest animal shelter’s contact on standby and periodically post on your local missing pet Facebook page.

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