We’ve got the 4th of July weekend coming up … a time where we humans are looking forward to some time off, maybe a picnic dinner or BBQ, and of course some great fireworks displays on Sunday evening of the 4th. Unfortunately, our pets don’t usually feel the same about all those bright flashes, loud explosions and the acrid smell of burning fireworks. This is the biggest freak-out weekend of the year for our pets … when more terrified dogs and cats get lost than at any other time.
To help you and your pets make it through the next few days, here are some handy tips for keeping your pets safe during the 4th of July by The Humane Society of the United States. Please read them carefully and do what they say. The lives and well-being of your family pets may depend on it. Thanks for caring. /Gary
The HSUS Offers Tips for a Safe Fourth of July
The Humane Society of the United States reminds people that pets can become distressed by the additional noise and commotion involved with the Independence Day holiday. In fact, animal shelters across the country are accustomed to receiving “July 4th” dogs — dogs who run off during fireworks celebrations and are rescued by animal control officers or good Samaritans who take them to the safety of a local shelter.
Fortunately, you can prevent pet problems on Independence Day simply by planning ahead and taking some basic precautions:
*** Leave them at home
First, resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays. They can be disorienting and frightening to pets, even those used to going places with their people.
*** Don’t leave your pet 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.
*** Give them shelter
Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. 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 him company while you’re attending Fourth of July picnics, parades and other celebrations.
*** Keep it quiet
If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4 for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.
*** Pay attention
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.
*** Tag it
Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. Unknown 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.
“Pets are family members, and it’s understandable that people want to include them in their holiday plans,” said Jennifer Fearing, California state director for The HSUS. “However, most pets will be more comfortable staying at home. Spare our furry friends the stress of fireworks, crowds and fanfare on the Fourth of July, and for everyone, we wish a safe and fun Independence Day.”