Independence Day celebrations might be a lot of fun for people, but they can be downright scary for our animals, especially cats, dogs and horses, advises the Mesquite Animal Shelter.
The Animal Shelter traditionally picks up more strays a week prior, during and the week following the 4th of July than any other time of year, primarily because pets are so frightened by fireworks. To help keep your animals from becoming overly stressed this 4th of July, consider the following tips:
1. Leave your pets at home! Do not take your pets to fireworks displays. Pets and fireworks are a dangerous combination. Fireworks and the loud noises can terrify your pet, causing it to bolt and run away.
2. Don't leave pets unattended outside. Don’t leave pets outside not even in a fenced yard or tied up or in a car. Dogs may try to dig out of yards. Dogs trying to escape the noises can become panicked, scale fences they never did before, or injure themselves by becoming entangled in ropes. They can end up lost miles from home, suffer heat exhaustion or get hit by a car.
3. Exercise pets early in the day. Take your dog for a walk early in the day before the fireworks start, so it will be tired and ready for a nap when all the excitement begins. And make sure it's had a chance to relieve itself, to avoid an accident in the house later.
4. Keep pets safely indoors in a quiet place. Put your pet in a quiet room, away from outside sounds. Shut the windows, close the curtains or window blinds and use your air conditioner or a fan. Turn on the TV or radio to provide a normal sound to help drown out the noise from the fireworks. If you know your pet has a history of anxiety around loud noises, consult your vet before the holiday. Your vet may prescribe a mild tranquilizer to help keep your pet calm.
5. Finally, make sure your dog is wearing an ID tag with your current address and phone number, and a dog license so we can return it to you, if it should get lost.
If your pet does become lost.
-- Check the neighborhood (or area where the pet became lost), as pets have been known to be found close to home even several days later. Put up signs with your pet's photo and your phone number.
-- Contact your microchip registration company. Once notified, they may activate a lost pet recovery network and/or place your lost pet on a "hot sheet."
-- Contact your veterinarian. If your pet is wearing a rabies tag, the number can be traced to your veterinarian.
-- Contact animal control. If possible, visit the shelter daily to see if your pet has been brought in.
-- Place a lost pet ad in your local newspaper and/or online.
-- Check the paper daily for "found pet" ads.
If you have any questions, contact the Mesquite Animal Shelter at 702-346-5268.