Guilford County Animal Services Director Jorge Ortega put out a press release just in time for all the fireworks shows, and he’s reminding everyone that people may like fireworks but animals generally have the opposite reaction.

“Noise, bright lights, and vibrations from fireworks can cause severe anxiety for some pets which can result in the animal seeking out places to hide from and escape the unpredictable noise – including fleeing their home,” Ortega stated in the release.

According to Ortega, pet owners can take the following steps to keep their pets safe and calm during the holiday celebrations…

  • Keep your pets at home during the fireworks shows. Ortega notes that “Dogs can be hypersensitive to noise and vibrations, so it’s very likely your four-legged friend won’t enjoy the fireworks display. It’s best to leave them safely at home, and even better if a loving family member can stay behind to provide comfort.”
  • Draw the shades and close the windows. Also, do things like run fans or play calming music to help shield your pets from “stressors” such as bright lights and loud noises. Put the animal in the room of the house where it feels most comfortable.
  • The shelter also advises that you play with your pet and take them out for a walk before fireworks start or before you leave “so they can have a bathroom break and expend some energy in a positive way.”
  • There’s always a lot of activity going on over the holidays, so keep your dog or any other anxious animals on a leash when outside.
  • Don’t let your dog go near fireworks, lighter fluid or matches. The dog probably isn’t going to light the firecrackers but your prized pooch could end up sniffing or eating fireworks leading to serious injury.
  • Think about giving your pet some meds. Talk to your vet about whether your pet needs medication to help control anxiety. However, “Refrain from using any over-the-counter supplements or drugs, as most do not have proven efficacy and can be detrimental to your pet’s health.”
  • The shelter reminds you that farm animals also don’t really love fireworks. Therefore, “Make sure livestock are in a safe area that is fenced and covered.”

Birds in the sky are especially freaked out by fireworks, but there’s not a lot we can do about that.

According to Guilford County Animal Services, the days following the Fourth of July holiday can be some of the busiest for Animal Services when it comes to lost pets.  If not properly confined, the fireworks can make pets flee their homes.

In addition to animals being freaked out by fireworks, keep in mind that July is also National Lost Pet Prevention Month.

The county’s animal shelter is nearing capacity for some animals so be sure your pet is microchipped and is wearing an updated ID tag – and that even goes for “indoor pets,” because indoor pets sometimes inadvertently become outdoor pets and then run away or get lost.