Watch Tip Classic: Fireworks and Holidays

Posted on December 25th, 2011 by Anna Nirva

Watch and listen for stray pets who panic when holiday fireworks detonate—they may bolt through traffic or get lost. They might eat live or spent fireworks casings left on the ground. Be alert for violent cruelty to animals during this holiday in particular, when some troubled people become overexcited or aggressive!

Holidays are always high-risk for pets. Be vigilant.

What effects do all holidays have on your household? Holiday event schedules are busy and stressful. Your home might fill up with visitors and special dishes. Entrance doors and gates swing open and shut more often, and with so many distractions, tempting foods may be left out on counters. Spills occur and containers of cleaning supplies appear. New and unfamiliar people visit at odd hours. Interesting (sometimes fragrant) wrapped gifts and packages are sitting out.

Your dogs and cats are very attuned to these changes and they may become anxious or overexcited. They may be unsupervised in all of the hubbub and explore what they shouldn’t. It’s no wonder that accidents happen around holidays, and companion animals are so often involved.

Veterinarians will tell you that clinics are especially busy after any major holiday, and some of the stories are very sad—and almost always, the accidents preventable. Shelters and rescues will tell you that they get more calls to surrender dogs and cats around the holidays as well, often for behavior (lack of training) issues relating to holiday activities. This anxious adolescent puppy (pictured) was dumped on a SW Wisconsin county road just before a holiday. (She was adopted by a more responsible and loving family.)

Please be vigilant in your neighborhood and advocate for those who have no voice during any holiday. Be proactive in your home. If you expect visitors, crate your dogs and keep your cats in a safe room.

Remember, holidays are not celebrated for companion animals. They actually don’t mix well at all!

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