Prevent a Fourth of July Tragedy With Your Pet
For Immediate Release Monday, June 25, 2012
It's already happening – fireworks are for sale and neighborhoods are full of the booms and crashes of exploding devices. While the noise and excitement of the season can be fun for humans, it is a time of terror and trauma for pets.
"This is the number one time of the year for us to receive stray cats and dogs," says Deborah Wood, manager of Animal Services for Washington County. "With the sale of fireworks throughout the area going on for days, it means that the impact of the fireworks is something we see for two weeks or more."
Think NOW about preventing your pet from becoming lost this holiday period:
- Make sure your pet has identification. Collar tags are best, but they can come off. Every pet should also be microchipped.
- Never take your dog to a commercial fireworks display. If the noise scares the dog, he's in the dark, in the middle of a crowd, in a strange place. That's not a good combination.
- Keep dogs and cats inside when you are away from home. "A lot of animals become frightened and disoriented. They will jump over fences or dig under them," says Wood.
- Make your home a sanctuary for your pet. Even indoors, some animals will panic. There have been cases of dogs jumping through windows in their panic to escape. If you have a noise-sensitive pet, keep him in an interior room (such as a bathroom or basement with no windows). Keep a radio or TV on for "white noise" to soften the sounds of the fireworks.
- If your pet is sensitive to noise, talk to your veterinarian now. Your veterinarian has products that can help. Feliway replicates calming pheromones and has been clinically proven to be effective on some cats. There is a similar product for dogs called DAP (for Dog Appeasing Pheromone). Both Feliway and DAP are available at veterinary offices and at some pet supply stores. Pets that are very fearful of noises might need a prescription of anti-anxiety medication from their vets.
For the third year, the Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter will be open on July 4th to intake stray animals and reunite lost pets with their owners.
Contact:Deborah Wood, Manager, Animal Services