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Fourth Of July Companion Animal Safety Tips

From In Defense of Animals (IDA)

The Fourth of July is so exciting we sometimes forget to consider how the holiday may affect our companion animals. Fireworks and festive noises can be scary to animals. July 4th and 5th are the two days when the greatest number of lost dogs and cats are reported to animal shelters across the United States. The following tips can keep your animal friends safe and sound:

Donít take animals to fireworks displays! Since fireworks often frighten our four-legged friends, never take them to displays or leave them waiting in the car. Heat and humidity inside an auto can injure or kill animals - even after nightfall. Leaving your car window cracked isnít a safe option either, since strangers can easily take your beloved companion. Itís best to keep animals at home where theyíre out of harmís way.

Walk dogs prior to nightfall. Dogs may become fearful upon seeing or hearing fireworks. Walk your dog on a leash at dusk when itís both cool and quiet outside.

Keep dogs and cats indoors. If left in yards or screened patio enclosures, they will often dig, climb or tear out when hearing fireworks or other noises. The safest place is in your home. Create a sanctuary by putting your animals in a quiet room and turning on soft music or talk radio so theyíll be comforted by the sound of human voices.

Speak with your vet. If your companion animal usually becomes anxious from loud noises, speak with your vet prior to Independence Day to determine if medication might be appropriate.

I.D. is the key. Itís best for all dogs and cats to be microchipped AND wearing a collar and current I.D. tag. In many cities, humane society I.D. tags are available free of charge. But even if you have to pay a small fee, it's worth it! Microchipping is an inexpensive and fast procedure that provides animals with life-long, permanent identification. Please speak with your vet about microchipping your companion animals before the Fourth. And always remember to update your information with the microchip company and your community's humane society if you move!

Call and visit your humane society and animal control immediately if your companion animal becomes lost. Families should regularly visit the humane society to look for your four-legged friend, as well as file lost reports with other animal shelters, humane societies and animal control facilities within a 50 mile radius of your home. If your friend is lost, don't stop looking - would he or she stop looking for you?

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