ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – The Humane Society of Missouri has released a list of suggestions on how to have a safe Fourth of July weekend with pets around.
In the release, the Humane Society of Missouri acknowledges that bursting fireworks can be very alarming for pets, which could cause them to act out of character.
The organization released the following list of “Dos” and “Don'ts” for pet owners:
- DO give your pet a quiet, cool place to retreat inside where heat and sounds are less intense. Dogs and cats are more sensitive to loud noises than people are, so those booms can be extremely uncomfortable. Keeping them inside will also protect them from stray fireworks or from those who may seek to intentionally harm pets with fireworks.
- DO keep your pet at home, if possible. If you can't avoid taking your dog to the festivities, keep your pet on a short, secure leash at all times and watch for signs of stress. Never use a retractable leash in crowded areas. And have a back-up plan should your dog become overwhelmed by the activities.
- DO make sure your dog wears a collar and ID tag at all times. For more secure identification, pet owners should consider microchipping as a permanent way to identify pets and help ensure a safe return if lost. If pets do get lost, visit STLlostpets.com to file a report and make sure to check area shelters.
- DO keep your veterinarian's phone number handy in case of any medical emergencies.
- DO maintain your pet's normal diet and keep them away from barbecue leftovers, like hot dogs or steak gristle, which could upset a pet's digestive track.
Pet owners should also be sure they “Don't” do the following during the holiday weekend:
- DON'T leave your pet in a parked car, even at night during a fireworks display. Fourth of July is one of the hottest holidays of the year. Even at 70 degrees, internal car temperatures can skyrocket to more than 100 degrees in just minutes. Remember our life-saving motto this summer: 70 Degrees & Over, Don't Take Rover!
- DON'T take pets to celebrations with fireworks. The excitement and noise can cause anxiety and some fearful pets will panic and run.
- DON'T let your pet loose or leave your pet in a yard unattended during the holiday weekend, even if you are only a few backyards away. A stray bottle rocket zipping through your yard could frighten or injure your dog or cat. Even dogs and cats that are usually “outdoor” animals should be brought inside during Fourth of July festivities.
- DON'T confine fearful animals on a chain or in a small area such as a crate. This could increase their panic.
- DON'T let your pets near the “human stuff” – things like sparklers, glow sticks, lighter fluid, sunscreen, insect repellent or citronella candles. Also keep an eye on alcoholic beverages, so thirsty pets don't accidentally take a drink.
Click here for more information on pet safety from the Humane Society of Missouri.