With the Fourth of July right around the corner, many people throughout Colorado wait in anticipation for the annual firework shows— even though restrictions, (in part due to the recent Colorado fires), have cancellations popping up throughout the state. However, there are still plenty of cities planning to host a firework display, so there’s no need to go into a patriotic panic.147007510

Unfortunately though, our pets don’t have the same appreciation for these awesome forms of entertainment. To them they are no different than a thunderstorm— scary, loud and unnecessary.

So what to do when the Fourth arrives? Heather Ratynski, Colorado district office and community manager for Chuck & Don’s pet supply store, explained the common things we overlook on the Fourth of July, and how to get it right.

Firework Safety

Some folks like to bring their pets to firework displays, because it’s more convenient (we don’t have to rush homDosi Thundershirt_gray (2)e to check on them), but also because we like to involve them as much as possible. After all, they’re part of the family right? However, it’s best to not bring them along for a firework celebration, according to Ratynski. They’ll most likely just become frightened and confused about all the noise and lights. “Leave them at home and keep them safe,” Ratynski said.

  • One safety tip? Equip them with a Thundershirt— a shirt that uses the swaddling theory (where consistent gentle pressure is applied to encourage an overall feeling of security, similar to swaddling a baby). Ratynski said it’s very important to make sure the fit is right or the shirt won’t work properly.
  • Make sure to leave pets in a secure environment where they will not be able to harm themselves or escape, should they become frightened.
  • Another helpful product is NaturVet Calming Aid Soft Chews— they can help reduce the tension associated with high anxiety situations, like during Fourth of July celebrations.NaturVet_CalmingAid SoftChews65 (2)

Outdoor and Heat Safety

There are plenty of other ways to involve your pets during the Fourth, such as park festivals and picnics. If you are planning on taking them outdoors, remember to keep their safety in mind. We go outside so often that it’s easy to overlook the precautions we take to protect Mushers ZX117_600X600 (3)ourselves— like wearing shoes so we don’t fry our feet off, on the hot asphalt, for example. Our pets are no different. They require protective gear and tools to ensure an enjoyable outing.

  • Protect those pet paws— Musher’s secret is a wax that can be applied to your pet’s paws before taking him outside. The wax forms a breathable barrier and helps keep him safe on the asphalt, according to Ratynski. Lightweight boots can come in handy as well. “In Colorado, when the air temperature is in the mid 80 degrees, asphalt can get up 135-143 degrees,” Ratynski said. She gave a tip on how to test how the asphalt feels on their paws: Use the back of your hand and press it against the asphalt for seven full seconds. If you can’t handle the heat, your pet definitely can’t hang either.water bottle IMG_9909 (3)
  • Remember to pack plenty of water— Ratynski suggested using the portable-hydration-station, Handi-drink. It’s an all-in-one dish and water bottle that can clip onto a belt or leash, making water easily accessible throughout the day.

It’s a no-brainer that we want to keep our pets as safe as possible, and this holiday is no exception. Especially since,“Animal shelters see the most influx during the Fourth of July,” according to Ratynski. On a day of such awesome celebrations, the last thing we want to do is go chasing our terrified pet around the neighborhood. Or worse, searching nearby shelters while everyone else is watching firework shows in 3D glasses.

“All of these products are not just for Fourth of July. They are all things that can be applied for anytime your pet is feeling anxious,” Heather Ratynski.