Start preparations now for a safe holiday!
You know what will ruin a happy Fourth of July? When you come home from family fun to find your pet missing. As you make big plans for your celebration, don’t forget the most important one, the one that will ensure that this will not be the last holiday your dog or cat ever sees.
Every New Year and every Fourth of July, Facebook is littered with the anguished cries of owners whose pets disappeared. Many will be run over on the roads as they try to flee in confusion from the terrifying sounds of fireworks. Many will become so lost they’ll never find their way home. Many will never be seen again.
Your pets have only you to take care of them and keep them safe. Please…don’t let them down. Keep them all safely inside. YOU have the power to keep them from becoming a statistic.
Here are some tips to help keep your pet calm.
1.) Go for a long walk before celebrating. If you normally take your dog out for thirty minutes, take a two-hour hike instead! You want your dog to be completely exhausted. This way his brain will be so tired that he won’t be able to concentrate on the fireworks.
2.) Turn on the radio, TV or even a fan. It is natural for dogs, cats and small animals to be afraid of loud noises. The sounds trigger their nervous system, and running away from the noise is a survival mechanism. If you can block the noise it may curb the “flight” response.
3.) Distract your dog. Once the fireworks go off, ask him to do some fun obedience behavior like shake, sit or down. This helps him focus on something other than the noise.
4.) Involve your dog’s nose. Scents such as lavender or pine can help encourage your dog to relax.
5.) Stay calm. Don’t feel sorry or frustrated. Don’t blame the fireworks or the people setting them off. These negative emotions will just feed your dog’s anxiety and it won’t help the situation!
6.) Keep your dog on a leash. This will give you more control and help you prevent your dog from running off. And if your dog should slip out of the house this will make your pet easier to catch if he runs.
7.) Make sure your dog has I.D. If your dog does become lost, tags and microchips can get him back to you safely.
8.) Try a Thundershirt. You can purchase a Thundershirt or make your own by tying a t-shirt tightly around your pet as if you are giving him a hug.
9.) Make sure all fences, gates and dog doors are closed and secure.
We are here to help if the worst happens. But wouldn’t it be great if the worst never happens in the first place?
THANK YOU, from your friends at the Mobile SPCA…and your pets.