Athens Review, Athens, Texas

June 27, 2013

Fourth of July not a pet-friendly holiday

The loud noise of fireworks will stress your pet, keep your pets safe at home this holiday

Special to the Review
The Athens Review

Athens — Animal lovers and rescue people everywhere but especially at the lake dread the 4th of July holiday.  This is the weekend when shelters and rescue people will get calls from everywhere from dog owners missing their dogs.

Many dogs (and almost all cats!) are terrified of fireworks – the loud bangs and  explosive lights – and will do most anything to escape from them.

Dogs confined to a fenced yard will not let that deter them from climbing over or digging under to get away from the noise and light.  Dogs not confined are gone!

Think about your best friend over the long 4th holiday weekend – it will probably go from Thursday through Sunday.  If he is an outside dog, bring him in the house when you are not home if at all possible.  If you’re home and start to hear fireworks, Get him inside.

Rescuers and shelters everywhere would love to not hear from you that weekend!

By planning ahead and taking some common sense precautions, you can help ensure your pet is happy and safe this Fourth of July.

Here are some help tips for a safe fourth of July for your pet.

• Do not take your pet to fireworks displays.

• Do not leave your pet alone in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects even death in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen. See our previous post: Leaving Pets In Parked Car Can Be A Deadly Mistake.  However, if your pet is most comfortable in the car, some pet parents find that driving around with their pet in the car helps to calm their pet.

• Keep your pets in your home in a comfortable and quiet area with the shades drawn. If your pet is crate trained, then their crate is a great choice.  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. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep your pet company while you're attending Fourth of July picnics, parades, and other celebrations.

• If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.

• If your pet seeks comfort in a bath tub, under a bed or other small space...let them. Do not try to lure them out.  If the space is safe and it makes them feel more secure, let them be.

• Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn't leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.

• Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. Animals found running at-large should be taken to the local animal shelter, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.

Here's to you and your pet having a happy and safe Independence Day!