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Written by Leslie Poole, executive director, Pet FBI (Found by Internet)
Did you know that July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for lost and found pets?
Fortunately, there are things that pet guardians can do both before and during the holiday to protect furry family members. There are 2 simple steps to take in order to protect your pets this 4th of July!
How To Protect Your Pets This 4th of July
Things to do BEFORE the 4th of July:
- Get your pets microchipped. This is a simple, affordable and safe procedure that can be done by a veterinarian. Some communities also offer free or low-cost clinics. Check with vets or your local humane society for details.
- If your pet is microchipped, check the registration to be sure the information is current. If you don’t remember where your microchip is registered visit www.petmicrochiplookup.org.
- Make sure your pets are wearing an ID tag with current contact information.
- Have a current, good quality photographs available, showing any distinctive characteristics of your pet. While we hope it never happens, if your pet is lost, this photograph could be invaluable.
- Check your backyard to be sure fences are in good repair and gates are secure. Patch any holes or places where a frightened pet could escape.
- Remember, celebrations including fireworks start well before the 4th of July. Be prepared!
Protect Your Pets on July 4th:
- If you’re going to a fireworks display, parade, cookout, or anywhere there might be firecrackers, sparklers, or fireworks, leave pets at home. Even dogs that are used to crowds and noise can become terrified and run away when they hear fireworks. At home, inside the house, is the safest place for pets.
- If your pets will be home alone during the fireworks, consider leaving the TV on or some soft music playing. If your dog is crate trained, (s)he may feel more secure in their crate.
- Keep pets indoors as much as possible on the 4th of July. Even the best-behaved pets can become spooked when they hear fireworks. Just because they’ve never slipped their collars or jumped the fence before is no guarantee they won’t do it once the booming begins.
- It’s hot in July and animals can suffer heat stroke, dehydration, and sunburn if left in the heat too long. Make sure they have plenty of shade and fresh water. Keep them inside as much as possible. Never leave an animal in a hot car, not even for a minute.
- Keep pets away from lighter fluid, matches, citronella-based insect repellents and alcoholic beverages. All can be harmful to pets.
- If entertaining, be sure guests are careful when opening and closing doors so pets don’t escape.
- Exercise pets early in the day so they will be more inclined to rest during the festivities.
- If a pet does become lost, check local shelters in person. Post a report on http://petfbi.org and follow additional recovery tips found on the site for the best chance of a happy reunion. It is always free of charge to post and search for lost or found companion animals through the national Pet FBI database.
About the author
Leslie Poole is the executive director of Columbus, Ohio-based Pet FBI (Found by Internet), founded in 1998 as one of the first web-based lost and found pet services. The non-profit all volunteer organization has expanded capacity to serve the entire United States and Canada, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. To visit Pet FBI’s free information center for lost and found pets, including more information about what to do and whom to contact, to file a report, search the database or sign up to receive alerts about lost or found pets in a target area, please visit http://petfbi.org.