Special thanks to Banfield Pet Hospital for this holiday themed blog. Keep your pets safe this holiday weekend!
With July Fourth weekend just around the corner, many Americans have begun to plan their Independence Day festivities. Celebrations would not be complete without family, friends, outdoor fun and fireworks. While most of us love the colorful displays, not every family member does – especially the furry, four-legged family member.
Pets don’t associate the noise, flashes and burning smell of pyrotechnics with enjoyment. Terrified pets panic and try to run and hide from the loud whizzes and bangs that fireworks produce.
The American Humane Association reports that July 5th is the busiest day of the year at animal shelters. Many companion animals flee the night before and are found miles from their homes, disoriented and exhausted. Pet owners end up searching their neighborhood streets and shelters looking for their beloved family member whose fear drove them to break a leash, dig under a wall or jump a high fence. Regrettably, these terrified animals wind up lost, injured or accidentally killed.
Banfield Pet Hospital identifies four keys to keeping your pet safe this Fourth of July holiday:
- Have your pet properly identified – make sure your pet is wearing a collar and the identification tag is current and readable. Proper identification tags will help local neighbors contact you should they find your pet. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your pet has a microchip that’s up to date with your current contact information. Most shelters, veterinarians and animal control centers have scanners that can read the information contained on the microchip.
- Food safety –holiday food favorites are hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill, but it can be a dangerous attraction for pets. The smell of delicious food is hard to resist for all of us and especially pets. To avoid accidents and fire hazards, keep pets away from matches, lighters, and outside grills. Dispose of all meat trays, bags, tin foil, or other food containers to prevent your pet from eating the plastic or Styrofoam. Tasty foods for humans may be toxic to pets, so be aware. Check out this list of Summer Toxins foods from Banfield Pet Hospital’s website.
- Fireworks – we all want to share holiday celebrations with our furry family members, but its best to resist that urge during Fourth of July. Protect their sensitive ears and eyes by keeping your pet in a quiet, sheltered and “escape-proof” area of your home. Prevent harm by creating a safe environment. Create white noise and block outside sights and sounds by lowering blinds, turning on the TV or playing soothing music. If your pet is known to have anxiety, it’s a good idea to check with your veterinarian before the 4th for recommended products or medications.
- Be prepared – Have a plan so that you know what to do in case your pet escapes or becomes lost. Keep your veterinarian number handy and familiarize yourself with local animal care facilities, shelters and emergency veterinary hospitals. If your pet does run away, immediately post flyers with a photo of your pet around the neighborhood, especially at schools, parks and dog parks.
The best way to enjoy your Fourth of July celebration with your pets is to exclude them from the holiday festivities. Finding a safe, secure location in your home ensures they will be there when you get back. Your pet will thank you.