Keep Your Pets Safe During Holiday Fireworks

As the 4th of July approaches, it’s important to remember that our furry friends experience these celebrations differently. This holiday is fun for us but can be the worst day imaginable for some cats and dogs. The loud noises from fireworks can cause stress to our pets and result in unwanted situations. Frightened, panicked pets tend to bolt and run far away from whatever scared them, leading to lots of lost pets. In fact, more pets go missing on July 4th than at any other time of the year, making July 5th the busiest day of the year for animal shelters nationwide. 

Here are a few simple tips for a stress-free, safe day for both you and your pets:

Microchip and ID your pets. Having an up-to-date microchip and collar with an ID tag can make a HUGE difference if your pet were to escape and get lost. Even if your pet is an indoor-only pet, they should still wear a collar and ID tag. They can become frightened during fireworks and try to escape. Planned PEThood offers microchips through our Spay/Neuter Clinic and our Wellness Clinic for only $25 and that includes registration. Most other veterinary clinics offer this service as well, ranging from $25-$75.

If your pet already has a microchip and ID tag, ensure they are up-to-date with current contact information. ID tags generally cost $10-$15 and can be done in minutes at almost any pet store and even many Walmart locations.

Work them out. Giving your pets lots of exercise during the day can help so they’ll be worn out once the fireworks start. A tired pet is a calmer pet and can help with stress and anxiety levels. 

Keep them indoors. Loud sounds can scare your pets, causing them to run away. Put them in a cozy spot well before the fireworks start. No matter how much fun it may seem, leave your pets at home when going to a fireworks show.

Provide a safe, quiet place. Help them feel safer in a quiet room or crate that is escape-proof. Try blocking out the light from outside and turning on relaxing music.

Provide distractions. Focus their attention on things such as toys, treats, music, etc. Use TV or radio to mask the noises outside. Consider a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter or a fun cat nip toy.

Ask a veterinarian for help. Some pets are more terrified of fireworks than others. There are medications and techniques that might help with your pet’s fear and anxiety. If your pet’s anxiety is severe, it might be helpful to book an appointment with your vet well in advance of the holiday to discuss how to help your fur baby. 

With a little planning and the use of these simple tips, you can make sure your pets are well-protected and safe so they’re with you for many years to come!

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Holiday Miracle: Cali Returns Home Thanks to Microchip

They may be tiny, but the impact of microchipping is great. Whether the reunion comes after days, months, or years of being separated, it means everything to a pet and its family. These reunions are proof of just how important microchipping can be.

Lost Kitty, Zach (rescue employee), Hadyn O’Hara (office manager)

A few weeks ago, a kind lady trapped an outdoor kitty that had shown up recently to bring into Planned PEThood. She was planning to get her fixed through our Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) Program for community cats. While prepping the kitty for her surgery, we found out she was already fixed, PLUS she was microchipped. We immediately knew she was someone’s furry kid.

Thanks to her microchip, we were able to track her chip number to a local rescue group. She had recently been adopted, and they were working to contact her owners. Her name was Cali! They arranged to pick her up at our clinic in hopes of reuniting her with her family.

Thankfully, the the owner was located and they had been searching for Cali for days. The kitty had somehow escaped while the owner was moving. A scary thought for any pet owner. Now she’s reunited with her family, and they are all overwhelmed with joy!

Microchipping is a beautiful thing and stories like this remind us of the importance of making sure your pets are microchipped. Without a microchip, on average, only 2% of cats are returned to their owners. 

Microchips save lives by reuniting lost or displaced pets with their families. Not only is having a microchip important but keeping your registered contact information up-to-date is crucial. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cats who are microchipped are over 20 times more likely to be reunited with their families.

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