Remember, July Fourth fireworks freak out Fido and Whiskers

Every neighborhood has a pyro lighting up the sky and busting our eardrums with illegal fireworks, which are also really tough on pets. Protect them from the noise.

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Scared dog sitting in owner's lap.

PAWS Chicago says more pets are lost on the Fourth than at any other time of year.

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Illinois is among a handful of states that mostly or completely ban consumer fireworks. We know it’s hard to tell. Pretty much every neighborhood and community has a pyro lighting up the sky and busting our eardrums with illegal fireworks as July Fourth approaches.

We wouldn’t mind so much, but it’s really hard on pets. Folks know what to expect on the Fourth; animals don’t. The fireworks freak them out. Their hearts will race. They could quickly develop gastrointestinal problems. Many will want to take off running — an attempt to escape the noise.

That’s because cats and dogs, as well as many animals in the wild, have acute hearing. Animals find “sudden, intense sounds overwhelming and frightening,” an advisory by Chicago-based Anti-Cruelty notes.

Editorial

Editorial

You’re never going to stop neighbors from lighting those M-80s (which are illegal in all states unless you have a federal explosives license or permit). But here are some tips from anti-cruelty and rescue groups to help Fido and Whiskers:

  • We’re always surprised by people who show up at professional fireworks shows with their dogs. Don’t do it. It’s torture for the dog.
  • Find a quiet spot at home for your pets. Give them their favorite toys and blankets. Use a TV or radio for background noise.
  • Before the fireworks start, make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise.
  • Contact your veterinarian for possible medications and ideas to keep pets calm.
  • Some animals are bound to escape when their flight response is triggered. PAWS Chicago says more pets are lost on the Fourth than at any other time of year. They should be microchipped and have ID tags.

Anti-Cruelty and PAWS reminded us that these tips apply to downtown residents during the upcoming NASCAR race and practices, too. And please, no fireworks after the Fourth. For Fido and Whiskers — and for plenty of people too — it’s just too much noise.

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