Fireworks, yikes!

It’s almost July 4th, which usually means family, food, fireworks and fun. Chances are, whether you’re staying or going, this weekend will be filled with great cookout food and great weather as we celebrate America’s independence.

However, for some of us, this weekend is known for fireworks and the chaos it causes — the highest intake of pets to shelters in the entire year. Fireworks and most pets simply don’t mix. The loud booms that carry on for hours can scare even the most relaxed animals. Unfortunately, paired with the fact that many people leave their pets behind when they travel for July Fourth, the holiday results in far too many pets ending up as victims of the shelter system.

Of course, there are some common-sense tips that can keep your pets safe. Here are a few:

  1. · Bring all pets indoors whenever neighborhood fireworks displays are likely. Secure dogs in a room and play music or turn on the television to drown out the frightening sounds.

  2. · Keep pets away from lit fireworks at all times, including those in your own backyard because some will chase after the bright moving objects and be at risk to be burned or blinded.

  3. · Ensure that pets are wearing current identification tags.

  4. · For the ultimate identification protection, all pets should be microchipped so that if they are lost they can be scanned at an animal shelter or veterinary office. If your animal is already chipped, ensure the information is up-to-date.

  5. · If your pet does go missing over the holiday, check with local animal shelters immediately. Go to the shelter in person to identify your pet, rather than calling or emailing the shelter because staff may not be able to respond in a timely enough fashion to ensure your pet’s safety.

  6. · If your pet gets especially stressed by loud noises, you might want to ask your vet if he or she can prescribe something that will help your friend get through the holiday.