Independence Day is, once again, upon the United States of America and millions of families are preparing for the biggest party of the year. Many will be spending their time outside barbecuing, swimming, setting off fireworks and enjoying the company of their closest friends… including their dogs. Unfortunately, the sporadic release of loud, crackling fireworks can send your dog into a frantic state where they will try to run away in order to find a safe place to hide.
More dogs go missing on July 4th than on any other day of the year. According to Pet Amber Alert, between July 4th and July 6th Animal Control Services see lost dogs increase by 30 to 60%. July 5th is the busiest day across America for shelters taking calls about reported lost dogs. Unfortunately, only 14% will ever be returned to their owners.
It’s extremely important that our dogs are kept safe during this holiday. Here are a few tips to follow to keep your dog safe while the nation celebrates it’s independence:
1. Make sure your dog is microchipped or has an I.D. tag
Microchipping is done everywhere and is quick and painless. There are much higher chances of being reunited if they are microchipped. I.D. tags are the next best thing.
2. Leave your dog at home
The safest way to keep your dog safe is to leave them at home. If you can have someone stay with them that would be ideal. This will keep them much calmer.
3. Feed and walk your dog earlier in the afternoon before the fireworks
Feeding and walking your dog before the fireworks is a great way to ensure your dog is able to eat without any stress and also prepares you to stay inside for a period of time. This means you’ll be able to wait out the fireworks before your dog will need a potty break.
5. Avoid the noise
Create a safe room or spot in your house for your dog. A safe spot could be their cage, the bathroom or a bedroom. You want to make them feel safe. Have a radio or television on nearby in order to drown out the sounds of fireworks. Follow the same steps as one would if the dog was afraid of thunder.
6. Don’t take your dog out immediately after the fireworks end
Your dog will still be highly anxious for awhile after the fireworks end. You will want to wait a little while before taking them outside. When you eventually go out with your dog, be sure they are securely leashed to a sturdy collar or harness in case an impromptu firework goes off.
7. Don’t leave your dog unattended in a car if you must bring them to an event
If you absolutely must bring your dog to an event, do not leave them inside a vehicle. A dog can still get heatstroke, or die, even if the sun has started to set.
Be sure to share this list with your friends and family because awareness is the best way for everyone to keep their dogs safe.
Have a safe and happy Independence Day!