Tips to have fun with fireworks without scaring pets

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-27 18:39:43-04

As you figure out whether to light them off at home, or go to a fireworks show, the Humane Society is reminding people that pets generally don't like fireworks either way.

There are several ways you can maximize the fun, while making it safer and easier on your pets.

Things like letting a pet stay where they're more comfortable in your home can go a long way keeping them safe this Fourth of July, said Pam Wiese, Nebraska Humane Society spokeswoman.

While there is a variety of ways to make your pet more comfortable, there's one thing Wiese says not to do.

"Don't take them to a fireworks display,” Wiese said. “I don't care how happy and well adjusted your dog is. Going to a fireworks display where it's close, it's loud, there are bright flashes of light, it's really hot and there are a lot of people around, is just too much for any animal.”

A ThunderShirt anxiety vest is an alternative way to ease the minds of cats and dogs.

"The idea is like swaddling a baby,” Wiese said. “The baby's crying and you swaddle it all up, make it feel real secure and it will probably stop crying; same thing for dogs and cats. People can use ThunderShirts for any type of anxiety. If animals are traveling and they're scared, if animals are scared of fireworks or thunderstorms.”

If letting your pet hide in the house or comforting them doesn't work, Wiese says medication can be used in extreme cases.

Subby Anzalone runs a fireworks stand near 60th and Grover, and is a longtime pet owner.

"If we could avoid any type of medication for our dog, we could,” Anzalone said. “Sometimes it would be recommended, sometimes it wouldn't. We'd also just put our dogs in the house and went ahead and turned on the radio at a loud volume or the TV at a loud volume to try to mask that firework sound as best as possible so they wouldn't be spooked.”

Anzalone says if you have to bring your pet with you there are several options, such as quieter fireworks.