Springfield veterinarian shares how to keep your dogs safe from fireworks

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – You may buy fireworks on Monday, but some may wonder how can the loud fireworks impact animals?

According to the Missouri Division of Fire Safety, the division issues permits to more than 1,500 seasonal retailers to sell consumer fireworks to the public. These permit holders can legally sell to the public from June 20 to July 10.

The staff at the Animal Care Center in Springfield said they recommend dog owners especially be careful once the fireworks start going off.

“If dog owners know that their dogs get frightened by fireworks, then I would have them request from their vet some anti-anxiety medication to try and help,” Veterinarian Dr. Philip Brown said.

dr Brown also said keeping dogs in your house while fireworks are shooting off is one of the best ways to deter dogs or other animals from running away due to the loud noise.

“If the dog lives in a crate, cover the crate with a packing blanket to reduce noise,” Dr. Brown said.

dr Brown said putting dogs in a dark room like a basement could also help calm animals.

“The quietest room in your house is the best place to keep them,” Dr. Brown said.

dr Brown said that free-roaming dogs in a backyard typically hear the fireworks, become nervous, and try to dig their way out or hop over the fence. He said if dogs are kept outside while fireworks are shooting off, it could become dangerous.

“If they’re on a chain, then they’ll go around and around on the chain,” Dr. Brown said. “They could end up choking themselves down or knocking their water bowl over. Then there’s a heat problem.”

dr Brown said if dogs are kept in an open area, then the dogs will most likely run away when hearing the loud firework noises. He warns people to be extra safe when setting off fireworks, even the small fireworks like snappers.

“Dogs chase the fireworks,” Dr. Brown said. “Dogs pick them up, play fetch with them, then the fireworks could go off in their mouth.”

dr Brown said one of the best ways to prepare if your dog does run away is to buy a collar with a tag. Updated information such as the owner’s number and veterinarian clinic on the tag will make it much easier for a dog to be found if they wander off.

dr Brown said veterinarian clinics will always check dogs for microchips if lost, but having an updated tag and collar is one of the fastest ways to locate the animal.

If you would like to see additional tips on how to keep your dog safe and calm while fireworks go off, the Purina website has a list of ways that are also beneficial.

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