Monday, June 29, 2009

Fireworks and Pets

Yay it's summer!! I am excited that summer is finally here!! I love the smell of fresh cut grass, the sound of kids playing outside, ice cream and riding the Sky Ride at Lagoon. Life just feels a little more laid back, and no one cares if you wear flop flops to work. The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. I look forward to it every year. I enjoy having friends and family over for a BBQ, staying out late in the warm summer air and shooting off fireworks.

Although fireworks are fun for us, they are not so fun for our pets. It is important to practice safety when shooting off fireworks around them.
I know my animals get scared, so we make sure the house is secure before we celebrate. My little terrier mix "Sassy" gets so scared that she might need to go over to grandma's house this year.

While you are out celebrating, let your pet stay indoors. Close the curtains and turn on some soft music to filter out some of the noise. Give them some treats or toys to keep them preoccupied. They might be too scared to go potty during the fireworks, so give them a lot of time outside before the fireworks start. This should help prevent an accident inside as well.

If your pet is known as an escape artist, keeping them in a kennel or crate is a good idea. Some pets may try to hide, so having a little sanctuary of their own to bury in can be a comfort. People often take their dogs with them to the park to participate in the festivities. The loud noises can stress your pet out so much that they can become physically ill. They just don't understand what is going on, so leaving them at home is best. If you absolutely must take your pet along, keep them on a leash or in a carrier at all times.

Also make sure your pets have current tags and microchips. Each year many animals are so frightened by fireworks that they run away from home. Scared and lost, many never make it home again. Some may end up at the shelter, but sadly most are not found in time by their owners.

If by chance your pet does get out, having your current contact information can be life saving. By having your phone number and address on your pets collar, whoever finds them can contact you right away. But if by some chance your pet loses their collar, a microchip will give them your information as well.
Both ways are equally important and can be life saving if they have your current contact information.

In general with it being summertime, please leave your pets at home and not inside the car. When the temperature is hot to us, it is even hotter to our furry friends.
Even in the shade and with the windows down, it only takes a few minutes for them to start feeling heat exhaustion. Heatstroke in pets can be fatal.
If you need to run into the store and your dog is along with you, please consider taking them home first.

With some basic safety knowledge, we can all have a safe and fun summer.
Your pets will appreciate it!

Happy 4th of July everyone!!

-Maranda Hawkes
Volunteer Director

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