Keep your Pet Safe While Enjoying the Festivities of July 4th


It’s the Fourth of July – do you know where your pet is? This may not be the first question that comes to mind on this day of barbecues, picnics, family gatherings and fireworks.

Yet to the American cat and dog, the Fourth of July is a scary holiday – a day of sudden flashes and explosions. Pets don’t realize this is a national holiday. Dogs and cats, who tend be sensitive to noise, become confused and frightened. Often their first instinct is to run and hide.

Many pet owners, unaware of how their pets will react, bring their dogs along to fireworks events or leave their cats outside for the evening. Some owners simply leave a window ajar, not realizing that terrified kitties might think this opening will allow them to escape the noise.

Here are some simple ways to prepare for the holiday, increase your pets’ safety, drastically reduce their stress and lower their risk of running away.

Create a quiet place. Firecrackers, loud party voices and booming music can make pets anxious. Even well-socialized animals are likely to be pushed beyond their limits. Whether you go out or entertain at home, make sure your pets have a restful room or area to which they can retreat.

Don’t take your pets to a fireworks display. Though you might prefer to have your pets’ company, they’ll be happier at home. Secure all potential escape hatches. If you can, leave them in a quiet, sheltered area. To reassure them, you may want to keep a television or radio playing at a normal volume while you’re away.

Keep a harness and leash ready for each dog. If you must be outside with your dogs during fireworks, make sure each one is secure on a leash and harness. Frightened dogs commonly manage to slip out of their collars, and harnesses allow you to fully control your dog.

Don’t leave your dogs outside unattended. Even tethered pups will struggle to get away if startled by noise. Dogs who aren’t tethered may try to dig out of an enclosed yard. Generally, if dogs are afraid and stressed, they will look for a way out.

Be sure your pets wear current ID tags. Clear identification can be a pet’s ticket back home. An ID tag means anyone who finds your pet can get in touch with you right away. Even an indoor cat should wear a breakaway collar with ID in case he slips out. If you don’t have time to get a tag before the holiday, write your pet’s name and your phone number in indelible ink on the collar itself for each of your pets.

Shoot a roll of photographs. It’s a good idea to have up-to-date photos of your pets in case they ever get lost. Take a side shot of each pet and one looking directly at the camera. Hang up a gray sheet as a backdrop so your pets’ images stand out clearly.

Keep all fireworks away from pets. People often don’t realize how unpredictable and dangerous fireworks can be. Bottle rockets and firecrackers, in particular, can fly off in any direction. If one explodes near a pet, it could severely burn or blind him.

Hire a pet-sitter. If you go out for the day or evening, hire a pet-sitter to stop by or ask a friend who knows your pets to pay a visit. The loving touch and soothing tones of an animal-lover can calm your pets during the pyrotechnics.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 at 3:54 pm and is filed under News.

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