Many years ago, when my only children were the four-legged variety, I used to hate Fourth of July firework celebrations. Being involved in the animal welfare industry, I see the number of animals taken into shelters increase dramatically around this holiday, and most animals are found with no identification. Now that I have children (the two-legged kind) I see how excited they get for fireworks. While fireworks are still not my favorite, I finally understand why people enjoy them. Thankfully, there are ways to enjoy firework celebrations and still keep your pets safe. Here are some tips to help keep your pets safe this Fourth of July:
Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned. When fireworks and other loud noises are going on outside, pets can become scared and try to escape. Sadly, most pets that wind up at animal shelters aren’t wearing any form of identification and never find their way back home. Since shelters receive numerous stray animals after a fireworks event, make sure your pet doesn’t become a statistic. Ensure that proper identification is on all your pets.
Resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays and never use fireworks around pets. You may think your pet wants to join you during a fireworks event, but in reality they’d be much happier at home. Obviously, severe burns can result if your pet is exposed to lit fireworks. In addition, unused fireworks can be dangerous to pets. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic, and other heavy metals.
Do not leave your pet in the car during fireworks. Aside from experiencing heat stroke in a hot car, pets can also injure themselves trying to escape from a car if they are frightened of fireworks.
Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. It’s best to keep your pets in a locked room that’s pet-proofed. Experts recommend turning on a television or radio to keep your pet company and to help drown out the noise. There’s a music series called “Through a Dog’s Ear” that claims to provide clinically tested solutions curbing anxiety in dogs. For more information, visit throughadogsear.com
Keep stress levels low. If your dog starts to show mild signs of distress during fireworks festivities, you also can help calm his nerves by giving him a peanut butter-stuffed Kong toy to distract him. If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety. You may want to consider having someone remain home with your pet or even using medication prescribed by your veterinarian.
Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. Pets who normally won’t leave the yard, may escape at the sound of fireworks. It’s best to keep all pets inside.
Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestion, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
Keeping these tips in mind, you and your family, as well as your pet, can have a happy and healthy Fourth of July!
Saturday, June 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Montecito Pet Shop, 2020 Cliff Dr. For more information, call 563-9424 or visit resqcats.org.
Kitten season has brought us many challenges and extraordinary expenses so we will have our fundraising booth with a lot to offer. The Montecito Pet shop will donate a portion of sales that day to RESQCATS, so come and stock up on food, litter, toys, condos, lotions, supplements, and all the other products they have.
Nancy Aquirre will be there with fleece kitty and dog blankets that are favorites of the cats and dogs. And she will be premiering her new SUN card line along with RESQCATS cards.
Amy Dobson will bring jewelry designed just for RESQCATS and she will have her own line of jewelry for those of you who prefer her one of a kind pieces.
Adrienne will also attend and will feature her kitty towels and aprons along with her entire line of just about any theme you can imagine.
There will even be a few raffle items. Proceeds go the cats.
Adoptable Pet of the Week
Tiger is a sweet, 7-year-old kitty who has a delicate meow. He can be a little reserved when he first meets you, but once he gets comfortable he loves to spend time with people. Tiger is a curious fellow who loves to run around and explore. He may be a wild soul but he still loves his catnaps in the sun. Tiger would do best in a home without small children or dogs. However, he might enjoy the company of another cat. Come in and visit Tiger today!
For more information on adopting, visit the Santa Barbara Humane Society, 5399 Overpass Rd., call 8964-4777, or visit sbhumanesociety.org. Shelter hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Lisa Acho Remorenko is executive director of Animal Adoption Solutions, www.animaladoptionsolutions.com