Did you know that more pets go missing on the 4th of July than on any other day of the year? It’s true. More pets escape from their homes or yards, or from their owners, on this holiday than on any other day. While there are precautions you can and should take to keep this from happening, the very first thing you should do is make sure your pet has identification. A simple identification tag could make the difference between your pet coming home and being lost forever. Ideally, your pet should be fitted with both an identification tag and a microchip.
Now that your pet is equipped with proper identification so that he can find his way home in the event that the worst does happen, let’s talk about tips to prevent your pet from escaping. We’ll also want to try to keep your pet as calm as possible throughout the holiday.
- Leave your pet at home. Particularly if your dog is frightened of loud noises or does not do well in crowds, he’ll be happier at home than at a July 4th celebration.
- Bring your pet indoors. Don’t leave your dog in your yard unsupervised, even if your yard is fenced. Cats should be indoors as well.
- If your pet is anxious about fireworks, darken the room, close the window shades to block out the light from the fireworks, and leave music or a television playing to help mask the noise.
- Consider calming remedies such as pheromone products, anxiety wraps (i.e. Thundershirt, Anxiety Wrap), and/or herbal calming solutions. If necessary, talk to your veterinarian about an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) medication for your pet.
Firework phobias and the risk of escape are not the only dangers associated with the holiday.
- If you’re planning a picnic, BBQ, or other gathering, make sure your guests know not to feed your pet treats.
- Be wary of your pet getting too near the grill (or any other open flames) and getting burned.
- Be sure your pet has a safe place to retreat if he feels overwhelmed. Consider locking anxious pets in a quiet area of your home, away from your guests. Provide your pet with food, water, bedding, and (for your cat) a litter box.
- If your guests are moving in and out of your home and your doors are opening and closing frequently, be sure that your pet does not sneak out of the house. Create a barrier between your pet and any open doors. Lock your pet in another area of the home to keep him safe, if necessary.
- Never leave your pet in a locked car, even with the windows cracked and even if you only plan to be gone a few moments. It’s simply not safe for your pet.