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Keeping pets safe during Fourth of July fireworks

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 5:55 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 3, 2020 at 6:00 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - While many people may enjoy watching a fireworks show on Independence Day, one local organization is reminding community members their pets may be frightened by the lights and the sounds.

According to the Eau Claire County Humane Association, Fourth of July weekend is one of its busiest of the year. To help keep your four-legged friends from getting scared, lost and ending up at the shelter ECCHA operations director Karen Rabideaux says there are preventative steps pet owners can take.

While many people may enjoy watching a fireworks show on Independence Day, one local organization is reminding community members their pets may be frightened by the lights and the sounds.
While many people may enjoy watching a fireworks show on Independence Day, one local organization is reminding community members their pets may be frightened by the lights and the sounds.(WEAU)

“When you’re not going to be there or when it starts to get dark and things start happening, make sure that they are in a quiet place in your house, some calm music, a thunder-shirt helps too,” Rabideaux says.”You can use some Adaptil pheromones, that calms the animals too. It comes in a spray or plug in that you can get at your local pet store.”

One of the most effective things you can do, is to tire your pet out before the fireworks start, but Northside Pet Hospital veterinarian Dr. Michelle Rothaug says not to over do it.

“Getting them to the point where they are worn out, so that they sleep deeply. I would use caution,” Dr. Rothaug says. “I think the weather for tomorrow is supposed to be between 90-95 degrees so certainly getting them to a point where they are exhausted just prior to fireworks may not be able to happen, without an increased risk of heat exhaustion.”

Pet experts also say it's important to get your pet micro-chipped and double check your pet's collar, making sure it includes a tag with your address or phone number.

“If they do slip out, that’s going to be the best way to realize the pet is owned by somebody and find the owners faster,” Rabideaux says. “Hopefully your pet is micro-chipped, but put it out on social media right away. Our community has been awesome about helping people find their pets right away”

Both Rabideaux and Dr. Rothaug say the best practice this holiday weekend is to get your pets settled inside, before the fireworks start to go off.

“If you can bring them inside, their going to feel better and be safer if they are by the people they love,” Rabideaux says.

“The biggest thing would be to keep them indoors where they have less of a chance to hurt themselves, especially dogs that when they become frightened they tend to want to run away,” Dr. Rothaug says.

You can watch the Fourth of July fireworks show in the city of Eau Claire live on WEAU. The show will begin at 10:05 p.m. Saturday and run for 20 minutes. The broadcast is sponsored by Festival Foods and the 10 p.m. newscast will be commercial free.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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