Opinion: Pet Safety Tips for 4th of July Weekend


Bolt from Operation Kindness | Image by Operation Kindness

While the 4th of July is sure to bring Texan’s a fun weekend of excitement, food and, of course, fireworks, this can be a scary time of the year for pets.
The sudden, loud noises from fireworks can cause anxiety for many pets. Fear can cause your pets to react out of instinct, from mild reactions, like hiding or looking for reassurance, to more severe reactions, like digging out of yards or even breaking through windows.

July is known as Lost Pet Prevention Month, as shelters see an increase in lost pets, particularly around the 4th of July holiday. You can help your pet cope with firework anxiety — and keep them safe and secure — by following a few tips.
• Microchip your pet and make sure your pet has proper identification and is wearing a collar with tags.
• Secure your pet in a safe and quiet place, like a kennel or bathroom. This will also help prevent your pet from darting outside should visitors come to your house.
• Turn on your TV or some music to distract from firework noise. Getting your pet toys and treats to chew on can also be a great distraction.
• Leave your pet at home! The noises and excitement of firework display events can cause your pet to panic and get separated from you. They’ll be more comfortable at home!
• Be patient with your pet; remember this can be a scary time for them. For severe cases, talk to your veterinarian about medication options.

If your pet gets lost, contact your local animal shelters immediately. If possible, it is best to go to the shelter in person to identify your pet. We always thoroughly check for microchips and identification tags at Operation Kindness to ensure we can reunite you with your pet should they find their way to us.

July can also bring some of the summer’s highest temperatures! Pets need our help to stay cool and regulate their body temperature in the Texas heat.

Overheating, dehydration and burning, amongst other uncomfortable conditions, can affect both dogs and cats. While dogs can cool themselves down by panting or sweating from their paws, and cats can cool down by licking themselves, we can help further by using some of the following tips!
• Keep water readily available. Just like us, pets need to stay hydrated.
• Watch for signs of heatstroke. Excessive panting, difficulty breathing, drooling, weakness or even collapsing can all be signs of overheating in animals. Allow your pet plenty of time to rest and cool down inside and in the shade.
• Avoid walks during the hotter hours of the day. Walking your pet early in the morning or later in the evening can help your pet avoid high sun exposure and high temperatures. Walking during these periods and keeping your pet on the grass can help keep your pet’s paws from burning on hot asphalt.
• Properly groom your pet. Pets shouldn’t be shaved entirely; however, reducing the amount of fur they have with hair cuts and brushings can help reduce the heat a heavy fur coat can trap. Proper grooming helps your pet stay cool while still allowing their coat to protect against sunburns.
• Let your pet play in the water. All pets should be monitored when playing with water. Letting your pet splash around in a kiddie pool, run through the sprinklers or even just lay on a cool, wet towel can help your pet beat the heat while having fun with water.

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