Monday, June 27, 2016

Celebrating Stars, Stripes and Pet Safety!

Celebrating Stars, Stripes and Pet Safety!
Fourth of July Dos and Don’ts from the Humane Society of Missouri 
Fourth of July celebrations would not be the same without hot weather and fireworks lighting up the sky.  However, for pets the heat and sudden cracks and booms can be more harmful and frightening than fun.
Remember the Humane Society of Missouri’s number one life-saving tip for celebrating this Independence Day:
70 Degrees & Over, Don’t Take Rover!
If you see a pet in heat-related distress call local police and the Humane Society of Missouri
Animal Cruelty Hotline – 314-647-4400.
In addition to hot weather safety, follow these simple “Dos and Don’ts” to make the holiday enjoyable for everyone in the family:
DO give pets a quiet, cool place to retreat inside where heat and sounds are less intense. Dogs and cats are more sensitive to loud noises than people are, so those booms can be extremely uncomfortable. Keeping them inside will also protect them from stray fireworks or from those who may seek to intentionally harm pets with fireworks.
o   Their retreat could be a basement or interior room with access to clean, cool water.
o   Close all windows and turn on a radio or television to mask the sounds.
o   Have your pet’s favorite toys and bed to comfort him.
o   If you know your pet is anxious with loud noises, such as fireworks and thunder storms, visit your veterinarian this week to discuss options for anti-anxiety or sedative medications.
DO keep pets at home, if possible. If you can’t avoid bringing Fido to the festivities, keep him on a short, secure leash at all times and watch for signs of stress. Never use a retractable leash in crowded areas. And have a back-up plan should your dog become overwhelmed by the activities.
DO make sure dogs wear a collar and ID tag at all times. For more secure identification, pet owners should consider microchipping as a permanent way to identify pets and help ensure a safe return if lost.
DO keep the veterinarian’s phone number handy in case of any medical emergencies.
DO maintain a pet’s normal diet and keep them away from barbecue leftovers, like hot dogs or steak gristle, which could upset a pet’s digestive track.
DON’T leave pets in a parked car, even at night during a fireworks display. Fourth of July is one of the hottest holidays of the year. Even at 70 degrees, internal car temperatures can skyrocket to more than 100 degrees in just minutes.
DON’T take pets to celebrations with fireworks. The excitement and noise can cause anxiety and some fearful pets will panic and run. 
DON’T let pets loose or leave pets in a yard unattended during the holiday weekend, even if they’re only a few backyards away. A stray bottle rocket zipping through the yard could frighten or injure animals. Even dogs and cats that are usually “outdoor” animals should be brought inside during Fourth of July festivities.
DON’T confine fearful animals on a chain or in a small area such as a crate. This could increase their panic.
  • DON’T let pets near the “human stuff” – things like sparklers, glow sticks, lighter fluid, sunscreen, insect repellent or citronella candles. Also keep an eye on alcoholic beverages, so thirsty pets don’t accidentally take a drink.