The countdown is on to the holiday that so many dogs–and dog lovers–dread: the Fourth of July. This day of family fun ends in fireworks in so many locations and results in more pets running away than any other day of the year. Shelters are already bracing for the influx of lost dogs and cats that bolt in fear from the sound of fireworks.
At our house, we’re already making preparations for the Fourth and the sound of the fireworks that will no doubt stretch out throughout the weekend. Please take a moment to make sure you’ve taken safety precautions so that your dogs don’t become a lost pet statistic this holiday:
- Be sure your dog is wearing a collar. Even if your dog normally doesn’t wear a collar in the house, keep a collar on him for the holiday, just in case he should bolt out an opened door.
- Check that your dog’s ID tag is secure; make sure that the ID tag is readable and up to date.
- If you’re traveling with your dog, be sure he is harnessed in the car. Our dogs wear Kurgo harnesses any time they are in the car. When we open the door to leash them, we don’t have to worry about unexpected sounds like fireworks causing one to bolt.
- Consider a GPS unit for your dog. Our dogs wear Tagg trackers; if they should become lost, we can use our smartphones to track them.
- If your dog is microchipped, be sure the chip number is registered with a service like HomeAgain. If he’s not chipped, consider a quick vet visit for microchipping.
- If you won’t be home with your dog on July 4th, consider hiring a pet sitter.
- Walk your dog early so you don’t have to worry about being out when someone sets off fireworks. Make it a long walk so your dog is tired that evening.
- Don’t attend fireworks displays with your dog, and don’t sit outdoors with your dog during displays.
- Consider swaddling garments like Thundershirt if your dog has fireworks phobia. Keep your dog inside when it’s time for fireworks.
- If your family will be in and out of the house, keep your dog confined to a room without outdoor access to reduce the chance of him bolting out an open door. If your dog has extreme fireworks phobia (some dogs have been known to break through windows), talk with your veterinarian before the holiday and also consider crating your dog in a room where he can’t see or hear the fireworks. Keep a television or radio on to drown out the sound of the fireworks.