This weekend will be a stressful one for millions of dogs and cats, but they can be kept safe.
The Fourth of July seems like an unsuspecting time for pet insurance claims to spike, as it is a time of celebration, fun foods, sparklers and fireworks displays.
That said, for dogs, cats and other animals, the fireworks are terrifying and can lead to altered behaviors.
Many animals suffer from noise phobia. This can cause dogs and cats to find themselves in fight-or-flight mode. It can make them shake from fear and try to hide under furniture, in closets or in other small spaces. That said, others might find themselves panicking and fear biting. Moreover, this can also cause some animals to want to escape, taking off from the door or the yard.
This makes July 5th the busiest day of the year for animal shelters, which sometimes find themselves filled to capacity with animals that had fled out of panic from the sound and flashing lights of firecrackers. Equally, it can lead to pet insurance claims from pets that have been injured from having done dangerous things out of panic, including pet insurance claims related to running out into traffic.
To avoid pet insurance claims and lost and injured animals, insurers recommend making a plan.
Pet owners are advised to remember their dogs’ and cats’ safety and health during all holiday celebrations, but particularly those that can cause them to panic and act out of fear. This includes planning for keeping your animals secure throughout the fireworks displays.
State Farm Insurance recommended the following steps on its site:
- Make sure the animal has been exercised that day by playing with the cat or by taking the dog for a walk. This helps to use excess energy and encourages improved relaxation.
- Keep the animal at home and secure in a quiet room or in their crate.
- Be sure that doors and windows are closed and secured both to block sound and to eliminate the risk of escape.
- Turn on a TV and/or fan and/or some soft music to act as white noise and drown out the sound of the fireworks.
- Make sure the dog or cat’s favorite toy and/or blanket is there to provide comfort.
- Ensure that the pet is properly ID tagged with information that is up to date so that if they do run off, they can be easily identified as yours and returned to you.
- Speak with the veterinarian to obtain medication to ease anxiety or tranquilize your pet’s panic to help reduce the risk of dangerous behaviors that could lead to pet insurance claims.