According to the American Humane Society July 5th is the busiest day of the year at animal shelters because animals frightened from Fourth of July celebrations flee from their homes in fright and are found miles away, exhausted and disoriented. If your pet is typically upset by loud noises such as vacuums, doors slamming or thunder be sure to take the proper precautions during your Independence Day displays to ensure that your pets stay put and remain as calm as possible.
The first piece of advice provided by the American Humane Society is to be sure all of your pets’ identification tags are up to date with correct contact information just in case they do manage to run off. To avoid a run-away scenario keep pets indoors and shielded from the noise as best you can. If they are especially sensitive to loud noises do not leave them alone, be sure some one is there with them. If you think that it is best to tranquilize your pet while you attend to the fireworks, alert your veterinarian well in advance.
If your pet does happen to get lose Jaime Keller, the manager at the Pulaski Animal Center suggests contacting more than just your local shelter. She says a lot of times pets can cover quite a bit of distance or potentially be picked up and brought to another county, extend your search outside of just your immediate surroundings.
Other than the potential of pets running off, they run the risk of accidentally being injured by a firework. If that happens immediately call 9-1-1 and tend to the burn. Never use a fire extinguisher to put out a pet that may be on fire because that will simply scare them more, use cold water and immediately apply Aloe-Vera or another kind of burn remedy on the animal. If the injury is severe enough call a local humane society for assistance or take them to an emergency veterinary clinic, the nearest one is North Central Veterinary Emergency Center in Westville.
Another thing to be aware of during this holiday weekend is that pets should not eat people food. As tempting as it is to toss some scraps their way, a lot of food we eat can actually be very harmful to animals. For instance, chocolate can negatively affect the nervous system and cause urinary system and heart muscle damage in your pet. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can be especially harmful to dogs if ingested in large quantities. Even something as small as a grape or raisin can cause problems, they contain toxins that can cause kidney failure in dogs.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals provided a list of foods to keep away from your pets. If your animal will be around while others are eating, keep some pet treats handy and inform everyone to reach for one of those rather than feeding them potentially harmful table scraps. If you are concerned that your animal may be fed without your knowledge, keep the pet indoors away from others.
Of course all pet owners want to include their furry members of the family in their Fourth of July celebrations and by considering these tips prior to partying they can be involved. Keep a close eye on pets this weekend to avoid any preventable incidents.