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Safety Tips for Pet Owners This 4th of July

How to help dog owners keep their pooches safe and comfortable during Fourth of July holiday festivities.

Independence Day celebrations are great fun for people, but the loud noises and bright lights can be traumatic for dogs. The explosions, excited voices and visual stimulation can create confusion and fear.

Animal shelters report that the July 4th holiday brings record numbers of runaway dogs to their doors. These dogs have been frightened and made frantic by fireworks. By being aware and thinking ahead, we can keep our dogs as safe and comfortable as possible during the revelry.

  • If you are going to a fireworks display, leave your dog at home where it will be the most safe and comfortable.
  • If you go to a holiday event, never leave your dog in the car. A partially opened window does not supply sufficient fresh air, and it creates an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
  • Always keep proper identification securely fastened to your dog’s collar in case it gets out. Talk to your veterinarian about implanting a universal microchip in your pet, and make sure that your veterinary clinic and animal shelter have your correct contact information in their database.
  • Don’t leave your dog outside. If you cannot bring it inside, cover his dog house with a blanket to protect him from the bursts of bright lights and loud bangs. A dog’s sense of hearing is acute — over 10 times more sensitive than humans’.
  • Create a special den-like area in your home where your dog feels safe. A properly introduced crate or kennel can be a calming refuge for it.
  • Some dogs become destructive when frightened. If you don’t use a crate, remove any items in the room which your dog could destroy or which could hurt itself if it chewed them.
  • Keep your dog away from the front and back doors. Your dog may be under significant stress, which could result in unnecessary injury to others or cause him to dart out the door and become lost.
  • Keep windows and curtains closed to reduce noise and bright flashes.
  • Turn on a TV or radio at normal volume to distract your dog from loud noises and help it to relax.
  • If possible, stay with your pet during the majority of the fireworks. A dog often reacts more intensely to loud sounds and flashes of lights when you are not with it. Remember it’s OK to use a leash to help with your dog inside the house.
  • Calming preparations and Thunder Shirts can help reduce the level of stress.
  • Consider hiring a pet sitter to stay with your dog while you are away from home.

July 4 is a time for fun and celebration. By taking these precautions, you and your pets can have a safe and happy holiday experience.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Gail Chadbourne July 06, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Alan, I don't live in Newark so I can't help. I do however make a distinction between legal firework shows and displays versus random backyard fireworks. A few years ago a young man who dreamed of being a Marine lost his whole hand with a firework. I felt really sad for him!
Patti July 10, 2012 at 02:48 AM
well in my neighborhood the fireworks, gunshots....anything that goes boom continues on.........my pets and I seem to have to "put up" with all of it from June to Aug... and they are illegal in my area...Yeah Right!
Gail Chadbourne July 10, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Oh Patti, what a bummer for all of you. Seems the PD could care less when so many shootings are happening all over the place. My thoughts are with you!
bryan lucchesi January 02, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Found a female very beautiful, Tabby cat, ~ 2 years old, on Bancroft Ave about 2 weeks ago. Believe it's an indoor cat. Please respone if you've lost a cat. I'll keep checking this website.
bryan lucchesi January 02, 2013 at 08:27 PM
I found a beautiful, female ave, Tabby cat, ~ 2 years old, on Bancroft Ave ~ 2 weeks ago. Please respone if you've lost a cat. I'll keep checking this website.

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