Imagine sitting peacefully in your home when suddenly, you hear a series of loud explosions. You don’t know where they’re coming from, or what’s causing them, but you can hear the windows rattle and feel the deep vibration in your chest. You may even see bright lights flashing in the sky. This goes on for several minutes.

Most of us would find this experience very frightening.

It’s not surprising, then, that so many animals are afraid of fireworks. It’s also not surprising that many pets, especially dogs, wind up at the shelter in the days after the 4th of July. When truly frightened, a dog can break free of its leash, push through a window, or even chew through a door.

Here are some things you can do to help keep your pets safe, secure, and feeling more comfortable during fireworks.

  1. Keep your pets indoors and provide a safe place for them to hide. Consider putting your pets in an interior room. Close the curtains or blinds, turn on the TV or soft music to help block out some of the noise.
  2. If you’re home, stay with your pets and try to distract them with favorite toys or games. A familiar blanket to cuddle with is also very helpful.
  3. Consider using a Thunder Shirt for your dog. These vests apply a pressure that can help keep dogs calmer. They can be purchased online or at most pet stores.
  4. In case your pet does escape, make sure that they are wearing a collar and ID tag with your current contact information. That’s the quickest way for someone to identify your pet.
  5. Collars and ID tags can break and fall off, so make sure that your pets are also microchipped and that your contact information associated with the microchip is up to date.
  6. Scared animals can easily get lost in the confusion and fear. If your pet is missing, don’t assume he will just find his way home. Post photos and descriptions on your social media, including local lost and found pet pages. Also, contact the Humane Society at 812-988-7362 and file a lost dog/cat report.
  7. If you plan to set off your own fireworks, give your neighbors some advance notice so they can secure their pets and keep them safe.

Knowing that your pets are protected and comfortable will help you have a better celebration as well.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy 4th of July!