More pets get lost on the 4th of July than any other day of the year, and only 14% of them are returned home from the shelter. Most pets panic from the loud booming of fireworks and unfamiliar smells which causes them to run off in search of safety. It is very likely that they will become lost, injured, or worse.
It is extremely important that all pet owners become educated on how to prepare for the 4th of July so their pets remain safe, calm, and happy.
1. Keep your pets inside at all times. The safest scenario possible is to keep pets secured inside once the parties and fireworks start. Even if your dog is used to being outside, the anxiety and loud noises from the holiday can cause him to break his restraint or jump over a fence in search of safety.
2. Walk your dog, play with your pets, and give them plenty of exercise early in the day before the parties begin. Make sure your pet has had plenty of exercise before she has to stay inside for long hours during the party or fireworks to reduce her anxiety, help her sleep, and reduce the likelihood she will escape when the fireworks start.
3. Leave your pets at home during the fireworks. Make sure your pet feels as safe as possible by making it easy for him to access his crate or “safe place” in your house. Create a safe haven for him in a sheltered, escape-proof part of your home with access to plenty of water. Leave your dog with a frozen treat to keep him occupied and distracted during this stressful time. Turn music or the TV on for background noise to help mask the sound of the fireworks.
4. Keep charcoal, matches, fireworks, glow sticks, and sparklers in a safe place where your curious animals cannot reach them. It may seem obvious to keep fireworks that are lit away from everyone, but it is also extremely important to keep unused fireworks away as well. Some fireworks are made with toxic chemicals such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other lethal ingredients that are very dangerous for dogs. Some matches contain chlorates that can cause difficulty breathing, damage to blood cells, and kidney disease if ingested.
5. Keep human food and alcohol out of reach. In the tragic event that your dog, cat, or small animal does get lost, it would be devastating if they didn’t have any way of being identified. Without proper identification, it is nearly impossible to reunite a lost pet with its owner. A microchip and ID tag are the best options for ensuring you will be reunited.
6. Make sure your pets have visible, easy to read, up-to-date ID tags on their collars at all times. In the tragic event that your dog, cat, or small animal does get lost, it would be devastating if they didn’t have any way of being identified. Without proper identification, it is nearly impossible to reunite a lost pet with its owner. A microchip and ID tag are the best options for ensuring you will be reunited.
7. Take a current photo of your pet that you can easily access in case your pet gets lost. Many of us are addicted to taking pictures of our pets, sometimes every day! However, you want to be sure you have a clear, current, full picture of your pet in case of an emergency for easy identification.
The absolute safest option for your pet on the 4th of July is to completely exclude her from the party and fireworks, as sad as it may seem to not spend this holiday with her! We know how hard it can be to spend time apart, but there are many toxins, risks, and extreme anxiety involved with this holiday. Our job as pet parents is to keep our fur babies happy, healthy, and safe. We must remember that a holiday like the 4th of July is not as enjoyable for them as it is for us. Your pet will thank you for keeping him safe during this holiday so you can spend many more years together.