Keep Your Pets Safe During Fireworks Season

Fireworks are the perfect way to end a summer celebration on an awesome note, but while you’re being dazzled by the nighttime display of pyrotechnics, your dog or cat may be cowering in fear. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your furry friend safe, calm and happy during a fireworks show.

How to Help Your Pet Manage Anxiety

Whether your pet’s anxiety is caused by fireworks or other events and issues, there are a few things you can do to make your furry friend more comfortable, including:

Desensitization. Play a recording of fireworks or other loud sounds that scare your pet for a few seconds. Reward your dog or cat with a treat after you turn off the recording. Gradually increase the amount of time that you play the sounds to help your pet adjust to loud noises.

Socialization. Expose puppies and kittens to a variety of situations when they are young to help reduce phobias and anxiety.

Medication. Talk to your pet’s veterinarian about medications that will help calm your pet.

Why Are Fireworks So Scary?

If you suddenly heard loud booms and saw bright lights but had no idea what caused them, let’s face it. You’d be more than a little freaked out. While you and your family may eagerly anticipate fireworks every year, your pet has no idea that the loud, frightening noises suddenly harshing his mellow are just humans’ way of celebrating national holidays and long weekends.

Avoiding Firework Dangers

Because your pet has no idea what causes those terrifying sounds, she may try to escape from your house in an effort to get away from the noise. Unfortunately, your pet can become injured by jumping through a window and may even run out into the street and be hit by a car. You can keep your pet safe by following these tips when it’s time for the local fireworks display.

  • Do NOT take your pet to the show unless you are absolutely sure that he or she is not afraid of fireworks. Your pet may actually run toward the fireworks in an attempt to flee the noise and might knock over other guests in the attempt.
  • If you are setting off fireworks in your yard, or if you live within earshot of a fireworks show, do not leave your pet outside – even in a secured and fenced yard. We’ve heard of more normally slow-moving and no longer slim dog leaping a fence or bolting across an electric barrier to escape the intense boom of home-launched fireworks. The best place for pets is inside.
  • Find the quietest room in your house, and put your pet’s food, water, bed or crate in the room, along with a few toys. Turn on the TV or play some music to help mask the sounds of the fireworks. Be sure the door latches firmly when you leave the room. If a family member does not plan to attend the fireworks show, your dog or cat will enjoy a little company in the safe space.
  • Put a collar and tags on your pet. The tags will help ensure that your pet returns home if there is an escape. Make sure that the information on tags is current. For maximum peace of mind, microchip your pet too. Since microchips are placed under your pet’s skin, they can never be lost, unlike collars and tags.
  • Take a recent photograph of your pet just in case there is an escape and you need to make a flyer or post information on the Internet.
  • Do not leave your pet in the car if you are attending a fireworks show. The temperature inside your car can rise to dangerous levels in as little as 10 minutes. Your pet may also damage your car in an attempt to escape.
  • Keep your pet inside until you clean up the remnants of the fireworks if you plan to hold a backyard show. Fireworks contain a variety of heavy metals, including arsenic and potassium nitrate that can harm your pet’s health.
  • Make sure that fences and screens are in good repair to prevent your pet from escaping from your home during the fireworks.
  • Take a road trip. If your pet is terrified of fireworks and nothing you do makes the situation more tolerable, consider leaving your pet with a friend outside the firework zone or check into a pet-friendly hotel or motel.

We love fireworks as much as any patriotic citizen, but not as much as we love animals. If your pet is afraid of fireworks or suffers from any other type of anxiety, we can help. Call us at 317-841-1846 to schedule an appointment to discuss your furry friend’s fears.


The Humane Society of the United States: July Fourth Fireworks: Awesome for Humans, Terrifying for Pets

ASPCA: Fourth of July Safety Tips

American Veterinary Medical Association: Fourth of July Safety

Stress (and guilt) – Free Boarding Tips For Your Pet

Much as you might want to, it isn’t always possible to bring animals along on vacation. And you may not be comfortable asking friends or family to shoulder the responsibility of caring for your pets while you’re away.
With summer here and demand for pet accommodations rising along with temperatures, you’ll want to know what’s available in your area. There are many viable options for pet boarding that run the gamut from boarding kennels to pet spas. Boarding with a vet can also be a great option.

No matter what you choose, experts from the American Kennel Club to the Humane Society of the United States agree that you should personally visit any boarding facility you’re not familiar with to be certain that your pet will be staying in a safe and secure environment.

If you’re a client of Windermere Animal Hospital, boarding here offers some additional advantages to consider:

  • A familiar environment where your pet will get lots of attention from people they know
  • Leaving your pet with professionals you trust will ease the stress of separation for all involved
  • Knowledge of your pet’s health history to prevent or address any potential health issues—especially if your pet has a significant health challenge such as diabetes or epilepsy
  • The convenience of being able to schedule non-emergency surgery or other procedures such as dental cleanings or grooming services while your pet is here

Of course even if you’re not a Windermere client, your pet is always welcome here (assuming we’re not booked solid).

How do we make sure the boarding experience is good for everyone?

With a bit of planning, boarding doesn’t have to be traumatic for pets or pet parents. To help get you started on a happy and relaxing stay for your pet, we’ve put together this checklist:

__ Book as early as possible. This is especially important if you have a larger dog as these reservations fill up quickly.

__ Shot records. Bring these if you’re not a client. Take this opportunity to schedule any outdated vaccinations.

__ Dietary needs/restrictions/allergies. If your pet is on a special diet, bring an adequate supply of that food. If you’re not a client, let us know about all allergies your pet has.

__ Behavior issues. Let us know if your pet has a fear of loud sounds such as thunder or firecrackers so we can discuss ways to help them stay calm. Be sure your animal is well socialized to be around other animals and people. Animals who are known to be overly aggressive may not be good candidates for boarding.

__ List of medications. If your pet requires daily medication, please bring dosage instructions and enough medicine to last until you return. And it’s always best to bring medications in the original prescription bottle.

__ Favorite toy. If your pet has a toy they love to play or sleep with, be sure to pack it.

__ Extra time for drop off. Allowing several minutes extra to review any special instructions regarding food or medication will give you peace of mind that your pet’s needs are known and will be catered to well.

__ Emergency phone number. Be sure to leave a number or an email address where you can be reached in the event of an emergency. If you are traveling to a destination where cell coverage or internet access will be unreliable or unavailable, be sure to leave the number of a friend or family member we can contact if necessary.

__ Avoid long goodbyes. When it’s time to depart, make it quick. If you prolong the farewell process, your pet will sense your discomfort and may become upset. Take comfort in the assurance that your pet will be well cared for and look forward to a happy reunion.

What about exotic or unique animals?

Generally speaking, we welcome exotic or unique animals such as birds, larger reptiles such as bearded dragons, and smaller animals such rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs.

For these animal guests, you’ll want to consider all applicable items from the general tips list above as well as:

Smaller mammals: Bring cage, bedding and food.

Larger reptiles: Bring cage and special food required.

Anything else to keep in mind?

Additional benefits of boarding with Windermere include:

  • Convenient location in Fishers, IN
  • Clean, bright loving environment staffed by trained veterinary professionals
  • Provide Iams Veterinary Formula Intestinal Plus Low Residue K9 food twice a day
  • Supply blankets and towels, fresh water every day, and two-three walks per day
  • Will provide two extra walks per day for an additional fee

To schedule boarding call 317-841-1846 as far in advance as possible, especially during the summer or holidays when demand is highest. We look forward to helping you enjoy your vacation, and making sure your pet is lovingly cared for.