Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
2 July 2000 Issue

Fourth of July Pet Safety
By [email protected]

Independence Day is one of the most fearsome times of the year for dogs and cats. Not only are the noises terrifying, but there are also people who either through sadistic behavior or sheer thoughtlessness, sometimes brought on by over-consumption of alcohol, will attach firecrackers to animals, or even just try show the dog or cat how exciting fireworks can be. Either way, this can cause pets to dart out in front of cars, bite those that are terrifying them (risking animal control impound), or run without knowing where it is going or how to get back.

So, the best way to protect pets, whether it be your own or your neighbors, is to keep them indoors, preferably in an interior room, not near windows or glass doors. Play a radio or television loud enough to help drown out the sound of firecrackers. It can be helpful to play both radio and television at the time, as the alternated sounds cover outside sounds even better.

If need be, your veterinarian can supply you with tranquilizers for your dog or cat, but ask now, because all your vets other clients may be asking too. Don't count on tranquilizers to do the job without other measures. Frequently dogs will be so terrified if left outside that it seems they were never medicated at all -- then after it is all over, the tranquilizer finally works, and works strongly.

Many pet guardians stay home with their dogs and cats on the fourth just to make sure they are safe and feel more secure. If that is your choice, make sure you don't make your pet more phobic by encouraging their fear. Petting and assuring your pet that all is well can be seen as praise for the fear they are showing. It's important to act as normal as possible.

Thinking about how you would feel if suddenly a war broke out with bombs and grenades may help you to empathize with your pet. Also, if you see a stray cat or dog that looks in need of a temporary shelter, please be very cautious about being bit out of sheer fear, but if you can do it safely, please let them have a place to stay until the fourth is over.

Animal Rights Online wishes a happy and peaceful Fourth of July to all of our subscribers and their companion animals.

Go on to A Whale of a Story by Park [email protected]
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