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Pet Safety Tips for the 4th of July

Posted at 3:57 PM, Jul 03, 2019

The holidays are fun for people, but can be stressful and dangerous for pets. More pets run away from home on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. Here are some tips to keep in mind, as you celebrate the holiday.

1. Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a sheltered, escape-proof area at home. If you have to leave them for a couple of hours, turn up the TV and your music system a bit higher than normal to drown out the noise of fireworks.

2. A visible collar ID tag is an essential safety item to ensure an easy return if he or she does bolt due to the noise, even if your pets are already microchipped. If you don’t have an ID tag on your pet, get one. If you can’t get to a store, you can MacGyver a quickie tag out of a business card or even a Post-It and some clear packing tape affixed to a collar.

3. If you do let off fireworks at your home — a bad idea if you have animals — be sure your pets are safe and under control at all times. Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.

4. Take special care around the BBQ, especially if alcohol is on the menu. It’s easy to get careless and allow pets to get into things they shouldn’t, like packages of hot dogs or buns wrapped in plastic, not to mention matches or lighter fluid, which can be toxic or cause skin irritations. And, of course, keep your pet away from any alcoholic beverages, which can do serious damage.

5. If the beach is more your style, do not to apply sunblock to your pets unless it is specifically intended for their use. Be aware that extended exposure to hot sun is extremely dangerous for pets.

6. If you are reasonably attentive to your pets, they are unlikely to get loose. If your pet does go missing, as a result of being afraid of fireworks, remember these two guidelines — dogs run and cats hide. A frightened dog can easily go for miles before running out of steam and allowing him or herself to be captured by a stranger. Your ID tag should make it easy for you to be contacted as soon as your pet is found. If your pet does get lost, contact your local animal control agency and local veterinary offices. Many people post lost/found pets on Craigslist, as well as, the following Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-the-Love-of-Louie-Michigan-Lost-Pet-Lookers/264553563570926 and/or https://www.facebook.com/LostPetConnections.

Cats, by contrast, tend to hide. Check crawl spaces, garages and sheds. Put out your kitty’s favorite food, and focus your search around the hours of dawn and dusk. If you can, leave a door or window open so that he or she can sneak back into your home overnight.

About Capital Area Humane Society:
Founded in 1936, the Capital Area Humane Society is an independent, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that promotes the humane treatment of companion animals through protection, placement, education, and example. CAHS is local, private, and all donations and gifts directed to the CAHS are used to assist the over 10,000 animals they care for in the greater Lansing community annually. The Capital Area Humane Society is located at 7095 West Grand River Avenue in Lansing, with the Spay & Neuter Clinic located at 5919 South Cedar Street in Lansing. To learn more about the mission and vision of the Capital Area Humane Society, visit www.AdoptLansing.org or call (517) 626-6060.

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