In today’s veterinary blog a few reminders for keeping pets calm and safe as families celebrate Independence Day.
The July 4th holiday and celebration can be a scary and confusing time for pets. Lots of loud noises, bright lights, crowds of people—all of it could send your dog bolting out the door. Animal shelters around the country report that their kennels are filled to capacity with lost pets in the days following July 4th. Our Treasure Valley animal rescue organizations are no different. The Idaho Humane Society (IHS) reports that following Independence Day their shelter is always bursting with pets. Even worse, some pets become injured when running away and require veterinary care and treatment.
To try and avoid these situations, here are a few suggestions:
- Get in some early exercise. Provide an opportunity early morning to help your pet burn off some energy, this may help them be more relaxed and ready to rest during the evening celebrations. This year may be extremely challenging for Idaho dogs to enjoy a good walk due to the extreme heat we have been experiencing. In the summertime, it’s never a good idea to exercise pets during the heat of the day. If you can, get an outdoor walk in early in the morning when it’s still cool, or find a way to play inside.
- Indoors is best on the Fourth. Pets simply deal with the noise best if they are kept safely in the house. A crate can add an additional level of security for your pet.
- Background noise. Use music, television or a fan to help disguise firework noises.
- Offer a special treat. A new chewy or interactive toy will keep a pet’s attention focused on something fun—and away from the outside festivities.
- Keep pet identification current. Even with these precautions, pets may still get loose. Ensure that his/her ID tags include the most current contact information. Also, don’t forget to update the microchip information if you’ve moved or changed phone numbers since it was implanted.
- Prepare for early (and late) fireworks. You may have to use caution in both the days leading up to the Fourth and the days following. Many people spread the fireworks out over the whole weekend.
If your pet goes missing on the Fourth of July. Here is some important information regarding hours of operation at the Idaho Humane Society shared on their website:
The IHS shelter will be closed on the 4th of July. If an emergency involving a pet such an injured stray or dangerous animal arises, an animal control officer can be dispatched by calling the Ada County Sheriff Dispatch at 208.377.6790.
The Shelter opens at 8 a.m. on Sunday, July 5, 2015 for owners searching for their lost pets. If your pet is missing, please visit the shelter immediately to look for your pet and file a lost report.
Let’s enjoy this beloved summer holiday and keep everyone safe!
If your veterinarian is unavailable, WestVet is open and able to address your concerns 24 hours a day. We will be open and staffed throughout the weekend of the Fourth of July.