Officials say to keep pets and veterans in mind during firework displays

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Firework displays are a staple of most Independence Day celebrations but they may not be for everyone, including some of our veterans.

Officials say to keep pets and vets in mind during firework displays. (Pixabay)

Matt Standish, with the Bay County Vet Center, said, "The Fourth of July with the fireworks and everything, just with the noise, it can trigger a lot of bad memories."

Standish says some vets with post-traumatic stress disorder may be triggered by fireworks because they sound like gunfire and they urge locals to be considerate before using fireworks.

"Know your neighbors," said Standish. "If you know you have a veteran close by, keep the fireworks contained, go somewhere else to set them off."

Standish says to go to a remote area to set off fireworks or to go watch a display and leave it to the professionals.

Veterans aren't the only ones who could experience extra anxiety, our pets could as well.

Doctor Gerrie Barr, the Owner of VetsPets in Panama City Beach said, "Coming out of Hurricane Michael, a lot of animals are pre-sensitized to noise problems. We're already seeing it, animals are more scared of thunderstorms, more scared of loud noises."

Doctor Barr says there are ways to keep your pets calm during firework displays this Fourth of July.

"If you have an animal that's anxiety driven by fireworks or loud noises there are sedative-type drugs that we use very frequently," said Barr. "As long as the animal whether it be a dog, cat, whatever, is capable of taking a sedative that is safe for its health, which most of them are."

He also says thunder vests or taking your pet to a place that's less noisy can also calm them down.

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