July 4th is the fun summer holiday that families look forward to, but it can be a scary and confusing time for pets. A few years ago, we were visiting family during the holiday and had left our dog safely secured in a fenced backyard with a dog companion while we went to a BBQ.
We knew we would return before nightfall and would be able to get Pepper inside before the evening’s festivities began. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to us, some neighborhood children decided to celebrate early. When we returned home, we discovered she had frantically dug her way out of the backyard and run away. We were devastated and very concerned about locating her in an unfamiliar neighborhood as evening was approaching and many, many more celebratory fireworks were on the way.
Our family quickly fanned out and went door to door. About an hour later we had located our little runaway, frightened, disoriented, and shaking. We learned our lesson! Each July fourth since, we have kept our dogs in the house throughout the day. As evening approaches, we nestle them inside our laundry room with a fan and a radio playing for background noise.
The Idaho Humane Society is reminding pet owners to take extra precautions during 4th of July fireworks celebrations, very often local shelters are inundated with stray pets that become frightened and run away. Many even become injured and require veterinary care.
Here are their suggestions:
- Leave your pets at home and indoors during the fireworks celebrations
- Utilize a basement or room with covered windows if possible
- Switch on a radio or television to disguise outside noises
- Give your pet a treat or toy to play with to distract them
- Make sure your pet has proper identification like a collar with a tag, and that microchip information is current and up-to-date
- If you pet does go missing, visit your local animal shelter immediately and file a lost animal report
Stay safe, everyone!