Are you aware that more companion animals go missing during the 4th of July than any other time of the year? It’s true, and as many as 75 percent of the pets that disappear during the 4th of July holiday are never found again by their pet guardians. The booms, bangs, lights and crowds common with fireworks are scary and stressful to pets. These unfamiliar noises can cause them to bolt, explaining why there are so many cats and dog disappearances during this particular holiday.
Our 4th of July Pet Safety Tips
There are a few simple things we can do to protect our pets during the 4th of July.
- First and foremost, make sure every pet has some kind of ID tag, and all identification on your pet’s collar and the information linked to the microchip are up to date.
- Prepare ahead of time. Like keeping your dogs and cats inside the house, starting the day before when possible. That way you won’t be searching for them at the last minute.
- Keep windows and blinds closed during fireworks. Even small neighborhood fireworks, and those that can be set off in a backyard like Whistling Petes, can be extremely loud and even traumatic for animals.
- If your pet is especially sensitive to loud noises, a good idea is to keep the television, radio or even air conditioners running to muffle the loud sounds from outside.
- For outdoor pets, don’t leave your pets loose in the yard. Dogs and cats have been known to jump fences or dig underneath them when startled by the loud noises from fireworks. As long at the weather is cool enough, keeping your dog or cat secured in a garage will be the best way to keep them safe.
- Never bring pets to a fireworks display. Leashed dogs can easily get spooked and get away from their guardians. Even the most friendly dog in a panic can and will bite.
- Never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can result in serious burns for curious pets and unlit fireworks may contain toxic substances.
- Some dogs might respond to a product like the Thunder Shirt, which is a tight wrap that can make a dog feel more secure. If a dog is very afraid of loud noises, a veterinarian can prescribe a medication. Or you may choose one of many homeopathic remedies that can be found on line.
HAVING A BBQ OR PARTY?
During parties and barbecues, remind your guests to keep alcoholic beverages, chocolate, and items such as citronella candles and glow jewelry away from animals. When ingested, all these things can be highly toxic and cause stomach irritation, kidney or liver failure and possibly even central nervous system depression.
Just remember to get your pets into a secure place like one of the suggestions above BEFORE the fireworks start. Make it a happy 4th for you and your pets!