With 4th of July approaching and backyard barbecues and fireworks to enjoy, please remember that pets may not appreciate the fanfare as much as we do!
July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters. In fact, dog shelters report a 30 – 60% increase in lost pets each year between July 4th and July 6th.
Many pets do not react well to the loud noise of fireworks and will go to extreme lengths to avoid them….as in ESCAPE! Consider your dog’s natural instincts to sniff out their territory and guard against inherent dangers. A sudden change in their environment, such as a loud noise, intense flashes of light or gunpowder smells in the air can easily promote a “fight or flight” response.
A dog’s acute sense of hearing is 100x better than ours. Extremely loud noises are especially painful if not anxiety-provoking for a dog.
In the interest of safe pet care, please consider these 12 TIPS to ensure the protection of your dog or cat this coming 4th of July holiday:
(This applies every day of the year, yet critically important on July 4th).
(1). Make sure all your pets have proper collars and ID tags, with your current address and phone #. Micro-chipping is also a good idea, especially if your dog or cat can’t don a collar. If your dog or cat gets loose, a Good Samaritan, shelter or Veterinarian will know to check for a chip and find you in the data base, for your pet’s safe return.
Micro-chipping service is available at local Animal Shelters or with your family Veterinarian.
For the ultimate in pet protection, consider the Fitbark GPS or Whistle tracker. Using smart technology to track your pet’s location and activity, these wonderful devices easily attach to your pet’s collar and can locate a lost dog within 3000 miles. See our Pet Store under Toys & Accessories to buy one now @ https://doolittlesdoghouse.com/shop/
PLAN AHEAD & EXERCISE CAUTION
(2). Whether entertaining at home or you plan to leave the house, find a quiet room where your pets can’t see outside. Play soft, classical music. Turn on a fan or other “white noise” tactics and make sure they aren’t alone for long. If you must leave, include toys, hidden treats and comfort objects in this ‘safety’ room.
(3). Consider pet calming solutions–Dr. Becker’s Stress/Calming chews or Poli Pet Calm might help ease your dog’s anxiety. These recommended merchants can be found under Pet Wellness on our Pet Store page @ https://doolittlesdoghouse.com/shop/
(4). Exercise your dog earlier in the day. In the cooler morning hours, take him for a nice long walk. Later in the day, play in the pool or use the garden hose to stay cool while fetching a ball in the backyard.
(5). Research local town news regarding city-planned firework displays, so you can anticipate when and for how long the blast will last. Consult with your neighbors to inquire if they are planning to pop off a few rockets.
(6). Have a full, fresh bowl of water available (anxious dogs pant more so need to drink more) and serve dinner well in advance (anxious dogs often won’t eat).
(7). If you notice that your dog is getting anxious during the fireworks, speak soothingly during the display and shutter the windows or lower the blinds. Do not overly compensate their fear by smothering them with more-than-usual affection. However, if they run for cover, under a bed or behind a sofa, then seek you out for assurance, embrace that opportunity to snuggle and console. Never scold your dog for being scared.
(8). Leash your dog when going outside. As an added precaution during fireworks displays near you, keep your dog on a leash when you let them out to potty.
(9.) Never leave your pets outside alone on July 4th!! Many will panic and attempt to escape. Given their level of anxiety, they may dig under fences or rip through screen doors to flee the scene.
BACK-YARD ENTERTAINING TIPS
(10). If entertaining outdoors, be careful with human sunscreen and insect repellents. While you apply them on your own skin, make sure your dogs or cats aren’t in the spray. It’s o.k. to use sunscreen on your pets if they are particularly susceptible (thin-coated dogs), provided they are vet-approved.
(11). Be cautious around your barbecue grill. The grease trap is a huge temptation for a dog and is an unfortunate cause of pancreatitis if consumed. Lighter fluids and hot coals should be closely monitored. Coals and hot sparks can jump.
(12). Keep animal treats on hand and ask guests to refrain from feeding the wrong food to your pets. Alcohol, coffee, chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, avocado, fatty meats, nuts, salty or sugary snacks should not be shared with your pets.
Enjoy the celebration of our nation’s independence and have a safe and happy 4th of July!
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