It’s that time of year again. While some love the professional and amateur fireworks displays that can be seen throughout Los Angeles, many pet parents shudder at the thought. Loud noises from fireworks can distress people and pets alike. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) asks the community to consider their neighbors, pets, and the environment, and refrain from setting off fireworks in their neighborhoods.
The loud noises and flashing lights of fireworks can trigger your pet’s nervous systems and cause fear and anxiety. A frequent response is to run, which is why so many pets become lost and wind up in shelters at this time of year. This triggering effect can also negatively impact people, such as those coping with traumatic stress or anxiety.
Fireworks in Los Angeles are illegal and can negatively impact the community. With the current severe drought conditions, there is always a looming threat of fire.
While spcaLA and other organizations urge Angelenos to refrain from lighting fireworks, it is almost certainly inevitable. To prepare your pets best you can, please follow these recommendations.
Microchip & I.D. tags: Dogs and cats should be microchipped and wear current I.D. tags at all times. This is the best way towards a happy reunion if your pet goes missing. spcaLA is hosting a clinic that offers microchips on June 26th.
Report lost pets: By law, you MUST report a lost pet to your local animal care services department. Please do this as anyone looking for a lost pet will certainly look there. You can also post lost pets on social media and neighborhood apps. For more recommendations for lost or found pets, visit spcaLA.com.
Keep pets indoors: Leave the family pet at home where they will be safe, secure, and less stressed. Loud noises from fireworks can cause a dog to jump a fence and run away from home or a cat to hide for days. Keeping your pets indoors will keep them out of danger.
Train your dog: Training your dog provides mental stimulation, reduces anxiety and enables you to manage your dog safely. spcaLA offers a variety of dog training classes.
Keep pets comfortable: Create a safe space for your pet in their crate (if crate-trained) or in a cool, well-ventilated room with soothing music playing softly in the background. Include your pet’s favorite toys, a tasty chew, a stuffed frozen Kong, and a pet bed or blanket for comfort. Close windows and curtains to muffle noise and block flashing lights. It is ideal if at least one family member can stay home with the pet, and especially so if you know they will be in distress.
Prepare: Consult your vet for prescribed or over-the-counter calming solutions.
Refrain from restraint: Never tie-up your dog to keep them from escaping. The loud noises from the fireworks can frighten your pooch making them more likely to attempt to flee. Dogs can seriously injure themselves, or even die, trying to escape.
Educate children: Teach them to not scare or tease pets with firecrackers or sparklers.
spcaLA is an independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization serving Southern California since 1877. There is no national SPCA, parent organization, or umbrella group that provides financial support to spcaLA. Donations run programs and services including Cruelty Investigation, Disaster Animal Response Team, Humane Education, and a variety of shelter services.
Submitted by Ana Bustilloz