Tips for July 4th: Keep your pets safe!

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Fourth of July is right around the corner, and that means fireworks, barbecues, family gatherings, and lots and lots of… terrified cats and dogs!

July 5th is reported to be the busiest day for animal shelters. Cats and dogs will try to flee from home to find safety, but they’re often found in places where they don’t belong. A dog’s and cat’s sense of hearing is significantly more sensitive than of ours, which means that they are extremely sensitive to the explosions of firecrackers.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep your pet comfortable while you celebrate the holiday:

  1. Keep them indoors. Try not to bring them outdoors to firework displays. It is best if you keep them at home or at a place you know they will feel secure. Make sure they are in a confined area where they can’t escape. They will most likely try to hide, so don’t be surprised if you find them in your closet or underneath your bed.
  2. Make sure they are wearing their collars! Just in case they become lost, they have a higher chance of being found and returned to you if they are wearing a tagged collar with their name, and your phone number.
  3. Microchip. If your pet does get lost and found on the streets, the shelter or vet can retrieve your information and contact you about your missing pet. Be sure to have your contact details up to date. You can most likely get microchipping done at your local animal shelter or veterinarian for under $50!
  4. Tell them it’s okay! Cats and dogs can be soothed by the sound of our voices. If you talk to them in a calmly manner, they will feel more at ease. Calm them down by singing a song, or pet them.
  5. Keep the cats in a quiet room. As for cats, your best bet is to keep them in an enclosed room. As long as you provide food, water, litter box, and a bed, they’ll be fine. Try keeping their bed in a closet, or under the bed, where they will feel safe.
  6. Play music. If played loud enough, different sounds or music can distract them from the noise of the firecrackers. If available, turning on the television or radio can be just as effective.
  7. Close the windows and blinds. They may attempt to jump out if there is an opportunity to escape. Make sure every window is secure and tightly closed. This not only prevents them from running away, but it also blocks the light flashes that may come from the fireworks.
  8. Watch what they are eating! If you’re throwing a party or gathering at your place, be sure to keep trash and foods out of their reach. Chicken wings are delicious, chicken bones however are difficult for dogs to digest and are harmful for their digestive tract. Barbequed foods are too greasy for a cat’s metabolism. Be sure to clean up after yourselves and keep their noses out of the trashcan!
  9. Take them to a boarding kennel. Leaving town for the weekend, and left with no other choice? Your best bet is to take them to a local boarding kennel where you know they will be left in good hands.
  10.  Do not leave them unattended. This is an obvious one, but they will run away if you don’t pay attention. Don’t leave them alone and try to keep an eye on them. Your pet will feel safer with your presence and knowing that you are nearby. If you have a relative or friend who is pet-sitting them for the weekend, be sure they understand your pet’s needs.

We hope that everyone enjoys their holiday and let's try to keep all our pets from wandering on the streets and out of the shelters this year! Happy Fourth of July! 

Winnie Goh