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Fido, Fluffy and the 4th: keep pets safe during fireworks

Telesouth Communications

The sights and sounds of fireworks usually light up the night sky for the Fourth of July, and usually for a few days afterwards as the neighborhood kids finish off what’s left of the firecrackers.

However, those sounds make the 4th of July one of the top times a pet is most likely to run away. They’re easily startled by the popping, whizzing and whirring of the tradition that people enjoy about their Independence Day celebration.

So what can you do to keep Fido and Fluffy safe during the celebration?

“You can create a safe space for them,” said Josh Gilmer, owner of The Pet Shop of Fondren in Jackson. “Just like you and I have a safe space to go when we need to relax, they need one as well.”

A safe space could be keeping them indoors with their bed, a crate, or keeping them restricted to one portion of the house so they don’t run from the home.

“Just like you and I would run if we’re scared, that’s what they will do,” said Gilmer.

If your pets are nervous, there are remedies to help with that.

“They make soft chews to help them relax,” said Gilmer. “But you want to stick to your naturals. Try to find some with chamomile, l-tryptophan, passion flower… those are natural, and harder to overdose on.”

Gilmer said the veterinarian can prescribe something for the nervous pet, but those tend to be a little stronger and have to be monitored.

If medicating a pet isn’t the route you wish to go, there are also other remedies that don’t involve feeding a pill to your furbaby.

“There are plug-ins, similar to a Glade plug-in, and collars that release a calming pheromone,” said Gilmer. “Or you can purchase a thundervest, which gives them the feeling of being hugged. Again, creating that safe space.”

If a pet does get out during the firework celebration and doesn’t return home, Gilmer said there are ways to increase your chances of finding him.

“Social media. You can let numerous people know at one time. Get that picture out there as quickly as you can,” said Gilmer. “Also, if you find a pet, look for a rabies tag, a collar, or take the pet to the local vet to see if it can be scanned for a microchip.”

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