July 4th Pet Safety Tips
The Fourth of July is one of the most stressful and potentially dangerous times of the year for pets. While you and your family, friends, and neighbors are celebrating the holiday with fireworks, pets are finding these festive activities anything but celebratory.
Many pet parents assume that if their pet is not afraid of thunder or other loud noises, they will not be bothered by fireworks. This is not necessarily true. Even pets who normally are not bothered by thunder and other loud noises are often frightened and panicked by the cumulative effects of the fireworks, the excited voices outside, and being left alone inside the house.
If pets are left outside and unattended, the noise and raucous often drives them to run away. In fact, the July 4th holiday is a very busy time for animal shelters across the U.S. They report taking in a higher number dogs that run off during firework festivities. In addition, many police stations log higher volumes of stray dog calls and barking complaints on July 4th compared to any other day of the year.
By planning ahead and taking some common sense precautions, you can help ensure your pet is happy and safe this Fourth of July.
* Do not take your pet to fireworks displays.
* Do not leave your pet alone in the car. With only hot air to breathe
inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects even death
in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide
sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to
be stolen. However, if your pet is most comfortable in the car, some pet
parents find that driving around with their pet in the car helps to
calm their pet.
* Keep your pets in your home in a comfortable and quiet area with the
shades drawn. If your pet is crate trained, then their crate is a
great choice. Some animals can become destructive when frightened,
so be sure that you've removed any items that your pet could destroy
or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed. Leave a television
or radio playing at normal volume to keep your pet company while
you're attending Fourth of July picnics, parades, and other
* If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises
like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for
ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will
experience during fireworks displays.
* If your pet seeks comfort in a bath tub, under a bed or other small
space...let them. Do not try to lure them out. If the space is safe
and it makes them feel more secure, let them be.
* Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a
chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn't leave the yard may
escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking
injury or death.
* Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they
do become lost, they can be returned promptly. Animals found running
at-large should be taken to the local animal shelter, where they
will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.
Here's to you and your pet having a happy and safe Independence Day!