With the Fourth of July less then a week away, pet owners need to take the proper steps to keep their animals safe during festivities. The number of animals being taken into shelters increases dramatically around this holiday, and most animals are found with no identification. 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.

Aside from making sure your pet is properly identified in case he should get out, here are some other tips on keeping your pet safe on the Fourth of July:

Ÿ Resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays and never use fireworks around pets.

Ÿ 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.

Ÿ Do not leave your pet in the car during fireworks. Aside from experiencing heat stroke in a hot car (it’s supposed to be in the 80’s in Santa Barbara on July 4!), pets can also injure themselves trying to escape from a car if they are frightened of fireworks.

Ÿ 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 www.throughadogsear.com.

Ÿ If your dog starts to show mild signs of distress during fireworks festivities, aside from the tips mentioned above, you also can help calm his nerves by giving him a peanut butter-stuffed Kong toy to distract him.

Ÿ If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4 for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety. You may want to consider having someone remain home with your pet.

Ÿ 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.

Ÿ 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 pet can have a happy and healthy Fourth of July!

Adoptable Pet of the Week

Otis is a 14-month-old Chihuahua mix who is very sweet once he warms up to you. He is a neutered male and weighs about 8 pounds. The shelter staff thinks he would be best with a family who has no small kids.


If you are interested in adopting Otis, contact adoptme@k-9pals.org. To see more photos and information on many other dogs for adoption in the Santa Barbara area, visit www.K-9PALS.org

K-9 PALS is the all-volunteer, no-kill nonprofit organization in Santa Barbara County whose mission is to provide veterinary care, assistance, adoptions, and rescue for dogs of all breeds who are abandoned in shelters. If you aren’t looking to adopt right now, you can help by donating to K-9 PALS to help provide for the much needed veterinary care, medications, food, training, and much more for homeless and abandoned dogs like Truffle.

K-9 PALS has monthly community outreach events at the Pet House on Calle Real, Petco 5 Points, and other places around the area on weekends. K-9 PALS provides four FREE dog behavior training sessions for dog adopters, so please contact K-9 PALS if you want to take advantage of this great offer when you adopt a dog from any local shelter.

For more information about K-9 PALS programs and support for dogs call 805-570-0415 or visit www.K-9PALS.org. Donations are gratefully accepted through PayPal, or to K-9 PALS, P.O. Box 60755, Santa Barbara, CA 93160-0755.


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