Texans will be celebrating Independence Day with food, fun, and fireworks. But for many of our pets, this can be a scary time of year. July is known as Lost Pet Prevention Month because animal shelters experience an increase in lost pets, especially in the days surrounding the 4th of July.
The sudden, loud noises can cause animals to have a mild reaction (hiding or looking for reassurance) to severe (breaking through windows or digging out of a backyard). This means that many of those lost animals will show up at their local animal shelter over the next few days. But as a responsible pet owner, there are ways you can help your pets cope with fireworks.
To keep your pet safe during the 4th of July holiday, Karen Reese, our Animal Behavior Manager, offers these tips:
- Make sure your pet is microchipped and/or wearing proper identification, including a collar with tags.
- Provide a quiet, safe place for your dog (ie. kennel, bathroom). If you have guests over, make sure your pet is secured in a safe place so they don’t accidentally dart out the door.
- Play a TV or radio to cover up some of the noise. Give your dog something delicious to chew on such as a stuffed Kong or food puzzle to distract them.
- Understand that your dog may be having really hard time. Be patient and calm. For really severe cases, talk to your veterinarian about medication or calming aids.
- Leave your pet at home! They will likely be frightened at celebrations with fireworks and may get separated from you in the crowd.
You can also find more training tips, like working with fearful dogs, in our Resources Section.
If your pet gets lost
If your pet does get lost, check with local animal shelters immediately. Go to your shelter in person to identify your pet, if possible. And rest assured, if your pet finds their way to Operation Kindness, we’ll check for ID tags and a microchip to get them reunited quickly with their owners!
And remember, the July is a great time to adopt a new pet! With animal shelters needing extra space to house lost animals, you can help create more empty kennels by adopting a pet.