Protecting your pets and yourself from fireworks

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – July 4th is just days away, so many people are getting ready to set off fireworks, but sometimes, this fun can take a drastic turn.

On average, 230 people go to the emergency room every day in the month around July 4th with fireworks-related injuries.

Some people may have permits to set off some higher powered fireworks, but most people handling them on their own will be dealing with things like sparklers. The most common firework injuries are burns to the hands, so be sure to light it from a safe distance. It helps to use a longer lighter. When it’s lit, hold it at arm’s length from the body and at least 6 feet away from other people.

The bigger the firework, the more important it is to pay attention to the location.

“We want you to be cautious of your surroundings. Make sure you’re a significant distance away from homes and other structures. Make sure the grass, you know you don’t want to shoot it into wheat fields and such and start brush fires or any type of other fire we might have to send the fire department out for,” said Dustin Burkett, Lenoir County Fire Marshal.

The sticks stay hot when they’re done burning so make sure to keep a bucket of water nearby to put them in when done.

While it may be fun for people, it’s not so fun for pets. Now there are some new options to protect pets this Independence Day.

More dogs run away on the 4th of July than any other day of the year because many are terrified of fireworks.

There’s a new noise-aversion medicine called Sileo designed to calm dogs without sedating them. It’s a prescription gel made specifically for anxiety from loud noises.

Jessica Girard at Firetower Animal Clinic says a vet may be able to prescribe this or a sedative to prevent dogs from the terror many experience.

“It turns into a phobia where they can become quite destructive when those things are going on. They’re going to try to rip through your screen door to get outside and run away,” Girard said.

Do not bring dogs out to any fireworks celebrations. It’s best to keep them indoors.

Owners can purchase a calming collar that emits a soothing pheromone smell to them, or thundershirts that wrap tightly around them.

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