Holidays are often busy and hectic, and we sometimes overlook how our four-legged friends feel about the chaos and excitement of our holiday celebrations. Fireworks in particular can be a loud and very scary thing for our animal companions. As we gear up for our Fourth of July celebrations, remember a few very important rules to keep your pet happy, healthy and home this holiday.
- The best place for your pet on the Fourth of July is home. Ensuring that Fido has a quiet, comfortable and calming place to retreat to if he is feeling overwhelmed or frightened is extremely important.
- If you must have your dog with you during your holiday celebration, make sure they are always leashed and with an adult. The ARLGP and shelters across the nation see an increase in loose/stray dogs the night of July 4th, as well as the morning after, due to dogs bolting in fear of fireworks. The best place for your pet is at home, with no opportunity to run away!
- Make sure your dog has a collar with identification tags. In the event that your dog does run away, identification tags aid in a speedy return home when they are found. If your pet does get away, immediately call your local Animal Control Officer and shelter.
- Go beyond identification tags: microchip your pet! Microchips are the #1 way for shelters to reunite stray pets with their owners. The ARLGP provides low-cost microchipping services at just $35 per pet. You can come in during our daily open hours for this quick and easy procedure, with no appointment necessary. It’s an important component of pet identification, and significantly increases the chances of reuniting with your pet if he/she is brought in as lost or stray.
- If your pet is joining you at family gatherings, make sure they have a cool spot with fresh water to beat the heat! Summertime in Maine can reach uncomfortable temperatures. Making sure fresh, cold water is available at all times is extremely important, as well as healthy (dog-friendly) food. Having access to an indoor area is also necessary, so your pup can relax and keep cool.
- Never leave a dog in a car during the summer months, as temperatures inside the vehicle climb to unbearable and deadly levels (often 20 degrees hotter than the outside temperature). Check out this interesting experiment when a veterinarian locked himself in a hot car to demonstrate how our pups would feel. A quick run into the grocery store can be incredibly dangerous for your pup. It’s best to leave them home!
If you remember nothing else this Fourth of July, remember this: the best place for your four-legged friends is in the comfort of their own home!