Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe July 4th
As spectacular as fireworks are for we humans the same can’t be said for our four-legged friends. Pet experts agree that more pets go missing on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year, making July 5th one of the busiest days for animals shelters and animal control officers alike.
A stray cat that basically adopted me when I moved into its Clifton Park neighborhood several years ago became more and more tame over several months as we got to know each other. Yet when a neighbor set off fire crackers on July 4th the cat who I named Castiel was almost lost to me for good. It took weeks for him to come back. The same thing happened to the dog of a friend who broke through a fence when the explosives were set off. Sadly, there was not a happy ending to their story.
Well, that time of year is just about upon us. The Fourth of July is considered one of the most stressful nights of the year for pets (even squirrels and rabbits have been known to abandon their nests and offspring to never return when fireworks are launched). So here are some tips or precautions from Wide Open Pets (wideopenpets.com) to put in place to keep all of your four-legged family members safe!
1. Keep Fido and Felix Home — If you make plans to party on July 4th be sure to keep your pets securely indoors in your absence. Crating is an option for your dog if that is where he or she is most comfortable. Be sure to give them plenty of exercise earlier in the day and then set up their crate as comfortably as possible.
Take extra care to make sure your cat or dog can’t get outside through a loose screen or door. When the noise begins they may panic and use extra force to break out of your home. It’s also a good idea to keep anything potentially toxic or a potential choking hazard out of reach.
2. Keep Your Dog on a Leash — If you absolutely must take your dog with you to the festivities make certain its collar fits properly and that the leash is secure. Chances are good that when the fireworks begin your pup is likely going to try to bolt. If he or she can slip their collar that is when they will.
3. Be Sure ID Tags Are in Place and Current — Your phone number should be clearly listed on a tag or collar. Engraved tags are most legible and easily purchased at pets stores in through your vet. Additionally, write your dog’s name and your phone number in permanent marker on the fabric of their collar in case the tag is dislodged. This way if someone finds your dog they can easily read your contact information.
4. Make Sure Your Dog’s Collar Fits Properly — Because it’s easy for a dog to slip out of an insecure collar it’s important to make sure the collar’s fit is snug. Your should be able to slip two fingers snugly between the color and the neck of your dog. If you try this and are still uncertain the fit is a good one ask a pet care expert to check for you in advance of a planned outing such as a Fourth of July party.
Check the fit of your dog’s collar routinely because collars can stretch over time.
5. Microchip Fido and Felix!! — A microchip and legible tag or collar are the best way to ensure your pet is returned if they are found by a stranger.
Take preventative steps now to keep your pets safe this Fourth of July and during the season’s inevitable thunder storms.