Independence Day is a time to celebrate for most, but it can also be a stressful time for pets, their owners and local animal welfare organizations.
“The week prior to and the week after July 4, we tend to see an increase in the number of [lost] dogs who come in,” says Robin Catlett, administrator for Anne Arundel County Animal Care and Control in Millersville. “Often, they’ve been spooked by fireworks.”
To keep your dog safe during fireworks, be sure they can be returned home if they are lost. “We recommend pet owners microchips their pet—and ensure the chips are registered,” Catlett says. “Be sure your dog wears identification.”
Tips for a pet-safe holiday:
- Be sure your pets are microchipped and that all information is registered and up to date
- Make sure fence gates are secure
- Check to make certain fences do not have any weaknesses
- Keep pets secured on leash and limit pets’ time outside the week before July 4th and the week after — especially when it is dark
- Don’t bring pets to watch firework displays or attend celebrations
- If your dog is crated, put them in their crate during fireworks or another safe place
- Play music or white noise to mask the noise of the fireworks
- If you have people over, make sure your dog is in a safe place in the house where they cannot bolt out the door or jump a fence if afraid
- If your dog is very scared, you may need to administer medication. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations.