Keeping your pets calm during the celebration - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Keeping your pets calm during the celebration

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Animal control officials across the country see a 30 to 60 percent increase in lost pets each year between July 4 and 6. In fact, July 5 is one of the busiest days of the year for shelters, according to petamberalert.com.

Your dog or cat will be more sensitive to the loud noises than we are. It would be like if we were startled by a loud noise. Their heart rate speeds up, adrenaline kicks in, and stress hormones circulate through the body, according to Purina's dog behavior analyst. 

So how can you keep them calm? To see how local dog owners dealt with the stress, I headed over to Bark du Lac dog park.

“The last few days with the fireworks going off, she's been barking non-stop,” said one dog owner, Lakendra Rousse. “She usually tends to calm herself down by going in the kennel. She'll usually be more comfortable in the kennel, so she'll go in there and go to sleep.”

“They stay inside with us, they'll go outside with us, they'll come to the dog park, but we don't let our dogs roam free and we're particularly aware of nights like Fourth of July and Halloween,” said another dog owner, Randy Stelly.

“Last night was his first experience with fireworks and he just got really scared,” said John Bertrand, a dog owner. “He wasn't sure what was going on and he wouldn’t stop shaking, so I put a Thundershirt on him. I tried holding him, he didn't want me holding him though, so we went into the back bedroom and sat on the bed and closed all the doors.”

Here are some of the most important tips experts have for pet owners.

The Humane Society of the United States recommends:

  • Keep pets inside while fireworks are going off.
  • Keep them in a secure, quiet room or kennel, with plenty of toys, food and water.
  • Even put on the T.V. for some background noise.

Petamberalert.com recommends:

  • Comfort your pets by talking, petting, and hugging them.
  • Also, provide lots of treats.
  • You may even want to try a Thundershirt, it works like swaddling an infant to relieve stress.

The Humane Society also says you can ask your vet about medication to help alleviate anxiety.

You can also prepare ahead of time by taking pets out early for a bathroom break and some relaxing play time.

According to Purina's dog behavior analyst, the most important thing you can do is stay calm. Show them you're calm and relaxed to help them realize there is no danger.

Of course, in the event your pet does run away, make sure they have the proper I.D. tags and are microchipped.

Here are some other pet safety tips for the 4th of July:

• After the party is over, look out for firework debris and other trash that may be left behind in parks.

• Keep food and wrappers out of reach. Some can be harmful to pets.  

• If you dress up your pet, make it short. The longer a pet is in costume, the more likely it can become stressed or injured in the outfit.

• Do not leave your pet in a car. Even in the shade, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise to 120 degrees. 

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved. 

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