Protecting your pets during fireworks

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Fourth of July is known for several things – parades, cookouts, and of course, fireworks.

Friends and families gather to watch them light up the sky in celebration of America’s birthday.

Fireworks, though, aren’t all fun and games for our furry, four-legged friends.

“Fireworks tend to mimic thunder which is a huge trigger for pets,” said Leah Lawrence, adoption center operations manager at the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society.

Pets are left shocked and scared, leading some to run away from home to get away from the loud bangs coming from fireworks.

That’s why every year, July 4 sees the highest number of pets run away from their homes.

“We get more stray pets in and around the Fourth of July than any other holiday because so many of them do get away from their owners when they get scared,” added Lawrence. “We tend to get a lot of emergency calls that night and the weekend following about loose pets, injured pets.”

There are several ways that the humane society recommends to avoid your pets from running away and keeping them safe during the festive period.

First, it’s imperative that you bring your pet indoors.

“Turning up the TV, some calming music, trying to drown out the noise a little bit,” said Lawrence. “Opening up a small crate or some sort of area that can be dark, comfortable where they can go and hide if needed.”

Many first-time pet owners may be unsure about how their pet will react to booming echoes of fireworks, so Lawrence said it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to preparing for the late-night pyrotechnics.

“I think we become so accustomed to hearing fireworks that it doesn’t really occur to us that some pets might be triggered by those,” Lawrence said.

One final step Lawrence stressed was that pet owners ensure their pets are either microchipped or have the proper tags on their collar.

“The biggest thing that we can emphasize to people is make sure your pet is wearing identification,” she said.

The humane society also recommends that pet owners put their pet on a leash if they need to take them outside at any point.