Did you know that more pets get lost and end up in shelters on the 4th of July than any other holiday?
Independence Day is fun and festive for many families, but let’s also keep it SAFE for you and your pets! Big gatherings, loud noises, and fireworks are the things we love about the 4th of July and those can be very frightening for our pets. With a little planning, you can ensure that this holiday will be enjoyable for everyone.
There is NO REASON for a dog to be around fireworks, and you should do everything to keep your dogs away from them.
Here are some tips to prevent fireworks sensitivity in your dog and keep them safe:
• EXERCISE YOUR PETS
Exercise your pet early in the day, and keep them indoors. Even a pet that is used to being outdoors and isn’t an “escaper” can become one with the strange sights and sounds of fireworks frightening him! Even a low boom far in the distance can be enough.
• KEEP PETS INDOORS
Keep your pets as far away from fireworks as possible, and in a safe, enclosed room, preferably one without windows. If you’re having guests over, consider keeping pets in a room that’s off-limits to guests, with plenty of water and food. Be especially diligent to prevent pets from running out doors and gates.
• CREATE A CALMING ENVIRONMENT
Surround pets with their favorite toys and other familiar objects. Sometimes the smell of an article of clothing from your laundry can help comfort them. Block out noise by playing soothing music and keep the room as quiet as possible by closing doors, windows, and blinds. “White noise” can be helpful in drowning out far away noises and calming nerves. You can download an app or play hours of white noise from You Tube. An old fashioned fan or leaving the t.v. on can help.
• KEEP AWAY FROM FIREWORKS
Even if your pet doesn’t seem obviously upset by fireworks, they can still cause harm to pets. Avoid potential burns, injuries, or possible ingestion by keeping all pets out of the vicinity of fireworks. Check with your neighbors about their fireworks plans. Ask for a phone call before they start.
• CONSULT YOUR VET
In extreme cases where dogs might be hyper sensitive to loud noises, you might want to consult your Veterinarian to prescribe a mild sedative. If your dog is nervous at a car backfiring or a door slamming, hearing the noise from fireworks might cause additional stress and anxieties.
• UPDATE IDENTIFICATION
The biggest risk of all this 4th of July is that pets will get loose and become lost. Even if a pet is secured inside, the sound of fireworks can cause them to panic – sometimes even breaking through glass windows. Make sure your pets are micro-chipped and wearing identification tags. Make sure your pet has a tag with your phone number on his collar – but don’t rely on this as his only source of identification. Register your pets microchip. If you already registered, make sure your contact numbers are up to date. If you adopted from the Rescue, that’s taken care of! If not, please contact your vet and have this done right away.Check your pet’s identification tag and call to confirm that the pet’s veterinarian and the microchip company have your current address and phone numbers. It’s might be a good time to replace your pets identification tag if the information is no longer readable.
• WATCH WHAT YOUR PET EATS
If you are having a picnic, barbecue, etc. and your pet is in attendance, be sure he isn’t getting into trash, or that a well-meaning relative isn’t feeding him! Even one meal of something he’s not used to, can give Fido some nasty gastric upset – or worse.
Be careful your pet doesn’t get into any alcoholic drinks. Busy party-goers are notorious for leaving their glasses behind. Be sure your dog isn’t getting into them.
Make sure your dog has plenty to eat and a cool place to go if it is a hot day – and watch that hot pavement on his feet! Remember to exercise early (in the cooler part of the day) and keep your dog inside.
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Enjoy your Holiday and play it safe! Happy 4th!