The Fourth of July is just around the corner and that means more and more families will be enjoying the spectacle of fireworks, whether it's the fireworks shows in Escanaba or Gladstone, or the small sparklers and candles that light up neighborhoods every year. But these pyrotechnics can be very frightening for our four-legged friends, who are able to do some pretty remarkable and potentially dangerous things to try and escape the loud noises and bright lights. The Michigan Humane Society (MHS) is reminding pet owners to keep their pets safe this holiday season by ensuring they are well secured, have up-to-date identification and license tags, and are microchipped.
The number of lost pets arriving at local animal shelters and humane organizations increases sharply around the Fourth of July holiday. Unfortunately, this is just a small percentage of the thousands of stray animals that end up in animal shelter every year, most of whom lack any sort of identification. Without an ID tag or better yet, a microchip, the chance that these pets will be reunited with their families is less than 10 percent.
Microchipping is a safe, permanent and unalterable way for your pet to be identified at veterinary centers and humane organizations around the country.
MHS also recommends the following tips to keep pets safe during Independence Day festivities:
Keep pets inside and secure. Frightened animals may jump tall fences, bolt out gates or run through screens during fireworks displays in order to "escape."
Resist the urge to take dogs to firework displays. Even those who are normally unflappable may be frightened by sudden, loud noises and may run off.
If you know your pet is afraid of loud noises, confine him in a safe, quiet room with their favorite toy and comfortable bedding.
If your dog shows signs of distress, give him a peanut butter-stuffed toy to help distract him and calm his nerves. Playing soft music may also help relieve the animal's stress.
The holiday is often accompanied by hot weather. Prevent heat exhaustion by keeping pets inside in a cool area during the heat of the day, with plenty of fresh, cool water.
For more information about pet safety, please visit www.michiganhumane.org, or call 1-866-MHUMANE.