BENCHS gives pet safety tips for Fourth of July weekend

·2 min read

Jul. 3—MANKATO — The Fourth of July is a time for celebration, but the holiday fireworks can be a problem for pets.

Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society Operations Manager Liz Brunner said there are several measures pet owners can take to make sure their furry friends are safe.

Her first piece of advice: get your pets exercised early.

"So taking your pets on walks, keeping them active during the day, will help decrease any nerves once the fireworks start," she said.

If you are going out at night, Brunner said to leave your pets at home. Even better, stay home with them.

"Any unfamiliar spaces will only heighten any anxiety," she added.

For cat owners who have cats that like to roam around, Brunner recommends leaving them indoors all day throughout the weekend.

"Just because if they're outside, they might hear a noise, bolt and end up in an unfamiliar area and not be able to find their way back home," she said.

White noise can be helpful in drowning out the noise from firework displays, and interactive toys can also keep pets distracted.

Brunner also recommended giving animals a comfortable place like a crate with blankets or a closet.

If owners do plan to leave, they should make sure doors, fences, windows and other points of entry are secure.

And if owners do take their pets out around when fireworks displays start, double-leash them for extra safety.

"So have a leash attached to their collar and a leash attached to their harness if possible. That way you have double security," Brunner said.

Other tips include making sure your pets' identification is up to date, and if you are hosting, keep festivities out of reach of pets.

Tiki torch oil, glow sticks and candles meant to repel mosquitoes can all be toxic.