Everyone loves to celebrate on the 4th of July!  But the nation's birthday can be harsh on our family friends.  Unfortunately, more pets get lost on the 4th of July than any other day of the year.

Here are the facts:  The weather's nice, so chances are your dog or cat will be spending a good majority of the 4th of July holiday outside.  At the same time, you'll probably be busy entertaining or visiting with company.  Throw in loud fireworks, and the opportunity for a startled pet increases;  When pets get anxious, they often act outside of their normal behavior and will often run away to get away from the loud noises and excitement.

So what can you do to keep them safe?

  • Make sure your pet is wearing a current ID tag;  That way if they DO get lost, the return process will be much easier.
  • Take a current photo of your dog or cat - just in case.
  • Exercise your pet early in the day - before company and the festivities start.  That way an stored-up energy can be deflated.
  • During cookouts, ask your guests to play with your dog away from the grill area.  At the same time, establish rules for whether or not your company is allowed to feed your animal.  It's also a good idea to keep dog or cat treats around so that if your guests feel compelled to feed your animal, at least it's with food you approve of.
  • Keep charcoal, fireworks, sparklers, and glow sticks far away from your family pet.
  • Leave your pet at home when you go to watch the fireworks.  Consider leaving a frozen, stuffed treat for them to either eat or play with.
  • If your dog is afraid of loud noises, leave on some soft music in your house to "cover up" the fireworks noise and to help sooth them.

Bottom line, use common sense when it comes to your animals.  That way everyone will enjoy the holiday.



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