While most of us are looking forward to cookouts and fireworks on the Fourth of July, chances are your pets have a different point of view. July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters across the country, as animals who have been spooked by firework celebrations are found wandering, sometimes miles from home.
Dogs and cats, with their sensitive hearing, can become frantic and disoriented by the noise and commotion of Independence Day celebrations and will often escape homes and fences in an effort to get away from the noise. Many dash into traffic or roads, and are hit by passing motorists. Others will find their way to local animal shelters, but may never be united with their owners because they’re wearing no ID, or their ID tags are outdated.
As you celebrate this weekend, please keep the following tips in mind. A few simple precautions can prevent the heartbreak of a lost or dead pet.
Resist taking your pet to the fireworks displays. Most animals don’t enjoy the holiday noisy spectacles.
Never leave pets outside and unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. Animals may panic, escape, and get lost, or injured by becoming entangled in their chain.
Make sure your pet is wearing identification so they can be returned if they do get lost.
Keep your pet in a safe place indoors. 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 on.
Leave a radio or television on at normal volume to provide him or her with some companionship while you’re attending the picnics and parades.
If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, talk with your veterinarian for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety experienced during fireworks displays.
May you and your pets have a happy and healthy 4th of July.
This article was written for the Macon Telegraph July 1, 2005 by our store owner Phil Dacosta while he was running the All About Animals Shelter in Macon, Ga.