With the Fourth of July around the corner, veterinarians are urging pet owners to pay close attention to their animals.
The pandemic has canceled many scheduled community fireworks displays. However, veterinarians worry that could lead to more people illegally setting them off at home.
"Home fireworks are actually less predictable than commercial fireworks said Dr. M. Leanne Lilly from OSU's Veterinary Medical Center. "With commercial fireworks, you know when they are going to start. You know when they are going to end. You can look up the schedule. You can prepare for them a lot better than you can not knowing when your neighbor five doors down is going to do them at 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. or 10 p.m."
The fear associated with fireworks can harm your pet's health or cause them to try to escape. Here are signs to look out for via The Ohio State University's Veterinary Medical Center:
- Face - Wide eyes, dilated pupils, pinned ears
- Body - Head low, body low, shoulders high, stiff
- Tail - Tucked or low tail (may be wagging)
- Behaviors - Avoidance, hypervigilance, slinking, displacement behaviors, howling, growling, elimination
Dr. Lilly said it is a good idea to talk with your veterinarian ahead of time to come up with a safety plan.
"They have a safe place to hide, a place that's quiet, maybe adding in some white noise or some classical music," she said.
These are some other recommendations for pet owners:
- Keep pets indoors or on a leash
- Create a barrier around doors that don't open into fenced areas
- Go outside with your pet even in a fenced area
- If possible, get your pet to eat during the sounds
For more information or to see a list of services provided by OSU's Veterinary Medical Center, click here.