Keeping pets safe and stress-free on the 4th of July

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fireworksxThe Fourth of July can often be a stressful holiday for pets and their owners. 

With all the festivities and especially fireworks, many pets can get scared by the sudden and frequent loud noises. According to Kappy Hodges with the Friends of the St. Joseph Animal Shelter, Fourth of July means it’s time for fireworks which can be a prime time for pets to escape. 

“They get very frightened, they don’t know what that is,” Hodges said. “They may be doing just fine and then suddenly there’s a loud noise they weren’t expecting and it startles them and then they run off.” 

Hodges said one of the things to do before the holiday, is to get an ID tag for your pet which includes your pet’s name and your phone number. 

“There’s all kind of places that you can get these,” Hodges said. “Get some kind of ID on your pet, so if someone finds your pet, they can get them returned to you quickly and there won’t be any animal shelter involved and fees and things that way.” 

Hodges said another important measure you can take to ensure your pet stays safe during the Fourth of July holiday and throughout the year, is to get a microchip. 

“Because if your dog slips out of its collar, this is a way they can still find you,” Hodges said. “The animal shelter does do microchipping for just $10 and they keep your information on record there so that you don’t have to pay the additional fee to the tracking agency.” 

According to St. Joseph Animal Shelter Humane Educator Jenna Keyes, another safety measure to take with your pets the day of is to keep your pets inside or in a kennel. 

“When it comes to Fourth of July, especially the evening time, if you have a lot of guests over at your house and you plan on shooting off fireworks, find a safe environment for that animal to stay in,” Keyes said. “Maybe a bedroom where they can stay calm and relax or a crate or a kennel if it’s a dog. This will also prevent them from maybe escaping out a door or a gate. (It seems like) every year our numbers of dog intake always go up on the Fourth of July and a lot of it’s due to the fireworks scaring the dogs or maybe a guest lets the dog out by accident. A lot of individuals lose their cats under porches or they go into hiding for a few days. So it’s very important to try and make it a comfortable and safe environment.” 

For more information on keeping pets safe and less stressed during the Fourth of July, contact your veterinarian or St. Joseph Animal Shelter Humane Educator Jenna Keyes at (816) 271-4877.