4th of July Pet Tips

July 2, 2018

Independence Day is a fun day of celebration for many people, but for a lot of animals the noise and commotion of parades, crowded gatherings and fireworks is terrifying.

Dogs and cats are far more sensitive to sound than humans. Terrified pets will run, dash through open doors, jump through windows (yes, even through the glass) and over fences to get away and hide. In this panicked state, they are at risk of being hit by a car or getting lost. It’s one of the reasons so many dogs are found stray and brought to the shelter after the 4th of July.

You can have a good time AND keep your pets safe and sane by following these tips:

Before the 4th of July: Make sure your pets are licensed, microchipped and wearing ID tags so they can be returned home safely if they panic, run and get lost. You can license your pets online at Kitsap-humane.org and microchips are also available at the shelter by appointment.

Parades and Street Fairs: Some dogs can handle the noise, crowds, floats, honking horns, water guns, shrieking children, clowns, marching bands, rambunctious dogs and flying candy, but most dogs would be much happier at home in a quiet room with classical music playing on the radio. Think twice before bringing your pets to these kinds of events.

Parties in the Home: Whether you’re hosting a picnic and barbecue at your house or going elsewhere, it’s wise to keep your pets in a calm room with the door closed when guests are coming in and out. One loud “bang” could have your dog or cat escaping out the door and becoming lost.

During the Fireworks: For sensitive pets, the fireworks noise on the 4th (and in some neighborhoods, well before then) cause extreme fear, trembling, vomiting, and running away. During home fireworks displays, animals are also at risk of burns or ingesting toxic materials.

The best place for a pet during the fireworks is in the house with you, so you can reassure them, pet them and attempt to keep them calm. If you aren’t with them during the festivities, put them in room in the house with the door closed and shades drawn, a comfy bed, a few articles of clothing, a bowl of water and classical music on the radio to help mask the sound of explosives outside.

Consult your Veterinarian: If your pet suffers from extreme anxiety and can’t be calmed, consult your veterinarian about medications that might help him or her.

If you Lose Your Pet, or Find a Lost Pet: It’s important be proactive and thorough in searching for your pet and/or sharing information about a pet you’ve found. Here are some steps to take right away:

  • Call for your pet, and bring their favorite treats as you search the neighborhood. Shaking the treat box sometimes helps to lure pets home.
  • Check the lost/found pet pages on Facebook (there are several in Kitsap) and check the online Nextdoor site in your community. If you have lost or found a pet, post a picture and a description on these sites.
  • Check the lost/found page at Kitsap Humane Society to see if your pet has been brought to the shelter: https://www.kitsap-humane.org/programs-services/lostfound-pets.
  • Hang flyers in the neighborhood with the picture and description of the lost or found pet.
  • Lost pets can be brought to Kitsap Humane Society after using the search options above.

Now that you know how to protect your pet, and how to find your pet if lost, have a wonderful 4th of July!