Is your dog frightened by fireworks and all of the noise of the festivities? It's a fact that more pets get lost on July 4th than any other day of the year. According to national statistics, animal control officials across the country see a 30-60% increase in lost pets each year between July 4th and 6th. In fact, July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for shelters. These statistics also suggest that only 14% of lost pets are returned to their owners; and worse, 30-60% of lost pets are euthanized because they cannot be properly identified and returned to their owners.
Here are some great suggestions to help keep your dog safe and sound this July 4th:
Weeks before the celebrations begin, make sure you have a current photo of your pet. In the event you should need to post pictures of your pet, this will enable you to have a current photo for your posters and to give to necessary authorities.
If your dog does not have a microchip, consider making an appointment with your veterinarian for this procedure. A microchip’s sole function is to store a unique ID number that is used to retrieve a pet parent’s contact information. If your dog were to escape your home or yard because they are frightened by fireworks and were turned in to a local shelter, the shelter could use a microchip scanner to read the microchip’s unique ID code. The microchip registry is called, and the registry company uses the ID number to retrieve the pet parent’s contact information from the pet recovery database. Most animal shelters and veterinary hospitals in the U.S. have global scanners that read pet microchips from most manufacturers.
Exercise your dog earlier in the day before the festivities and fireworks begin. When the parties and fireworks begin, your dog will more likely be in a state of relaxation than that of anxiety because they have been physically exhausted by their walking regimen and will be more ready for rest.
Leave your pet at home rather than take him to your neighbor's barbeque. Crowds and additional activity can create more anxiety in your pet; he will be much happier in his own home. If your dog is sensitive to loud noises such as fireworks, keep him inside the house rather than in your yard so he will not be tempted to jump a fence when startled by the fireworks.
Keep your dog in his favorite spot of the house. Let your dog relax in his favorite spot of your house. Put on his favorite television show, (Animal Planet, perhaps?), or some soothing music that will calm him and hopefully drown out some of the noise of the festivities. If your dog is crate trained, consider placing him in his crate, his "safe place", which can be covered with a blanket to help him feel more cozy and secure.
Act normal! Your dog takes visual cues from your actions, just go about your normal routine and play with him, speaking as you normally would.
The infograph below has some other ideas to help keep your dog safe on Independence Day.
*Infograph compliments of Petfinder
Wishing you lots of fun and happiness in your 4th of July celebration planning! Your dog will be glad you gave extra thought to him or her this year.
Tabitha, Beau and Jax