Monday, July 1, 2013

Keeping your furry family member safe during 4th of July fun!

Are you as excited as we are about this week's Fourth of July festivities?!  
We’re getting ready for fun in the sun, BBQ’ing with friends, and some much-needed downtime snuggling with our pets!  With all of the excitement, people coming and going, and the loud noises of fireworks and firecrackers, sadly, this is a time of year when many pets go missing after escaping from their homes. This 4th of July, be sure to factor your pet into your day’s plan. Here’s how to help your animals avoid the stress of the holiday!

  • Always keep your pets indoors during fireworks or firecracker displays. Dogs and cats spooked by fireworks may startle and want to bolt. Close the doors and windows, and turn on some soothing music to help distract them from the noise outside.
  • Be sure your pet is microchipped and wearing ID tags with current information so they can be promptly returned to you in case of unexpected escape.
  • Crowds and loud noises can be really overwhelming for animals, and fireworks can be downright terrifying, so never bring your pet to a fireworks display.
  • Do not leave pets unattended outside during the days leading up to, during, and immediately following, July 4th. If you normally leave Spot outside, bring him inside to a room where he can’t do any damage to himself. The noise of the day likely isn’t something he’ll be used to, and if fireworks send him into a panic while outside, it’s possible he could break out of your yard or hurt himself.

    photo by Love and a Six-Foot Leash
  • Alcoholic drinks and human food need to be kept out of your companion’s reach. Ditto for citronella candles/oils, glow-sticks, matches, and lighter fluid—these can be lethal when a pet comes into contact with them.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. (No hot dogs or ice cream, please, no matter how cute and well-behaved those little munchkins are!)
  • Don’t leave your animal in the car. A matter of minutes in a hot car is enough to cause serious health effects—including death. 

If despite your best efforts your pet does go missing, don’t panic. Call neighbors, get friends together to help you search, and post signs immediately. Check area garages, sheds, under cars and decks, and around shrubbery for your hiding pet. Call or visit your local public shelter or animal control (in Berkeley, call Berkeley Animal Care Services at (510) 981-6600 to check their kennels and file a lost pet report.

Here are some additional tips from the good folks over at the ASPCA in New York.

Happy 4th of July, and have fun y'all!!

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