Keeping Pets Safe During 4th of July

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Are you as excited as we are about July 4th festivities?!  We’re getting ready for fun in the sun, BBQ’ing with friends, and some much-needed downtime snuggling with our pets. However, with all of the people coming and going and the loud noises of fireworks and firecrackers, this is a time of year when many pets go missing after escaping from their homes. This Independence Day, be sure to factor your pet into your plans. 
Here’s how to help your animals avoid the stress of this holiday:

  • Keep your pets indoors to avoid fireworks or firecracker displays. Animals spooked by fireworks may startle and want to bolt. Close the doors and windows, and turn on some soothing music to help distract them from the noise outside.
  • Be sure your pet is wearing ID tags and is microchipped so they can be promptly returned to you in case of an unexpected escape.Remember to make sure your pet’s microchip is registered and up-to-date with your current contact information.
  • Crowds and loud noises can be really overwhelming for animals, and fireworks can be downright terrifying, so never bring your pet to a fireworks display.
  • Do not leave pets unattended outside during the days leading up to, during, and immediately following July 4th. If you normally leave your pet(s) outside or in a backyard, bring them inside to a space that is quieter. It’s possible for pets outside to panic and run away or hurt themselves while trying to hide or escape.
  • Alcoholic drinks and human food need to be kept out of your companion’s reach. Same goes for citronella candles/oils, glow-sticks, matches, and lighter fluid — these can be lethal when pets comes into contact with them.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. (No hot dogs or ice cream, no matter how cute and well-behaved those little munchkins are!)
  • Don’t leave animals in the car. A matter of minutes in a car on a warm summer day is enough to cause serious health effects — including death. 

If despite your best efforts, if your pet does go missing, don’t panic. Call neighbors, get friends together to help you search, and post signs immediately. Check area garages, sheds, under cars and decks, and around shrubbery, because your pet might be seeking areas to hide. Call or visit your local public shelter or animal control facility. Berkeley Animal Care Services (Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont) call at (510) 981-6600 and Oakland call Oakland Animal Services at (510) 535-5602 to check for your missing pet and file a lost pet report.

Do you have additional tips for keeping your pets calm during fireworks? Share them in the comments!

Have a fun, safe 4th of July!