Pet safety on the 4th of July

Published 9:57 am Monday, July 2, 2018

The Fourth of July is almost here. The seminal summer holiday is known for family gathering, cook-outs and fireworks. While fireworks safety is always reiterated for the public to remain safe during the holiday, what isn’t well known is the pet side of the equation.

A recent Facebook post made by the Friends of Bell County Animal Shelter highlights that the Fourth of July is the day that most pets run away all year. The increase in runaway and lost pets increases by 30 percent.

The reason for this, of course, is the prevalent use of fireworks that frighten many pets. The loud booms, the flashing lights and the high pitch squeals of fireworks are an uncommon mixture of intense noises to many household pets. It can send them running if they aren’t properly taken care of.

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July 5 is the busiest day for animal shelters all over America due to the increase in runaway pets. The number of lost pets each year reaches the millions, with 7.8 million lost annually. With such a high number, only 26 percent of runaway dogs are ever returned to their homes and 35 percent of lost pets are put down yearly.

There are various tips to ensure that your dog doesn’t run away due to being frightened of fireworks. First, make sure they’ve have a day of play that will tire them out come the evening. If they are more tired, nervous and pent up energy will be less likely to occur. If they do end up being scared of the fireworks, make sure they a safe spot designated to go to where they feel safe such as a pet bed or in their kennel or crate.

Making sure your dog has a collar and ID tags is never a bad idea and keeping them inside with the blinds closed and windows shut is the best way shield them from the fireworks.