Take the Fear Out of The Fourth for your Pets

Keeping your pets safe during the fun yet frightening 4th of July!


BOOM, POP, CRACK, WHIZZ, POW!  One the of the best parts of the 4th of July festivities are the striking displays of fireworks heard and seen around town, some lasting late into the night. While many of us are whooping it up around a BBQ, alot of our pets are zooming under beds, plastering themselves into corners, or worse yet, getting out and booking it down the street. 

This holiday is one of the most dangerous and frightening for our beloved pets.  Frightened animals will do all sorts of things that can be totally out of character and surprising to their families.  Jumping through glass windows, digging under fences, and squeezing themselves into dangerously small spaces are just a few examples.  However, running away and either getting hit by a car or picked up and taken to a shelter are very common yet sad occurances. 

There are many things you can do as a loving pet parent to avoid dealing with these types of catastrophes and make your animal less stressed during Independence Day.    

As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Planning ahead can give you peace of mind, and literally save your pets life.

* Make sure that your dog or cat is microchipped, that the chip is registered, and that all of your information is current - including your emergency contact in case you can’t be reached.

* Ensure that your dog is licensed and again, make sure that all of your
information is current. Licenses can be purchased through the County Animal Shelter. Call them at 831-454-7303 for more information.

There are many options for low-cost microchipping in Santa Cruz
County, and most vaccine clinics also do microchips. For a full list of clinics,
go to the Santa Cruz SPCA website http://www.santacruzspca.org/vaccination.html or call (831) 465-5000.

* Prevent your dog or cat from going missing by keeping him or her inside. The safest place for your companion is inside the house, and the best situation for your animal on the Fourth of July is to be at home with you. However, if your holiday plans are elsewhere, leave your animal inside your house. A dog crate inside the house can be a safe haven for your dog. You can cover the crate with a blanket, and stock it with a comfortable bed and his favorite toy or a kong to keep him calm. Be sure to leave the crate door open, as animals can hurt themselves trying to get out of a crate.

* If you have guests over for the holiday, designate a separate room for your pet and instruct guests not to open the door. Make sure that there is plenty of food,
water, and things that will soothe your pet like their favorite toys, a crate
with the door left open, and even some soft calming music.

* Your yard is a very unsafe place for your pet on the 4th of July. Sometimes when frightened and trying to seek refuge from noise and confusion, dogs may dig under or jump fences, or escape through open gates that your guests may have left open. Both dogs and cats may run away and become lost.

* If you have an animal that is especially nervous or predisposed to stress, you may want to consult your veterinarian ahead of time for tranquilizers.

* Just in case, make sure your companion animals are wearing identification tags and a license tag. In case your animal becomes lost, this is extremely important during the Fourth of July period. Instant temporary ID tags are available at the Santa Cruz SPCA. Always use a safe break-away collar on cats.

* If your companion animal becomes lost, begin a search immediately. Be sure to
call the County Animal Shelter at 831-454-7303 to report your pet missing. If
you live within the city limits of Capitola, you can call the Capitola Police department at 831-471-1170 to report your pet missing.

For more information on animal safety during the holiday, please call the Santa Cruz SPCA at 831-465-5000.

Now that you know what you need to do to keep your pet safe and sound, go forth and celebrate the independence we get to enjoy daily! 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Watzon McWats July 06, 2012 at 03:39 AM
If your pet needs to be locked away in a room while you have parties, I believe some training is in order (whether it's the humans or pet that needs training is another question). I'm not sure encouraging them to hide away from fireworks is a good idea either. In my experience, it's better to include them in the family fun, that way next year when they hear the wiz, bang, boom, they think "happy fun time!" and not "scarry!".
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