While the 4th of July can mean fun, food, friends and fireworks for people, for our pets, it can feel more like a scary alien invasion! Each year over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S.1 and more pets are lost on the Fourth of July than any other day. According to the ASPCA, nearly one-in-five lost pets go missing after being scared by fireworks. In fact, July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters, which fill up quickly with animals who panic and flee the bright lights and loud noises of holiday celebrations.
Make July 4th a more pet-riotic holiday by following these steps for a stress-free day for both you and your fur-kids from Michelson Found Animals Foundation Executive Director, Aimee Gilbreath. Found Animals created the first, free national microchip registry to help keep your pup safe.
Be Prepared. The Fourth is a great annual reminder to be prepared in case your pet escapes or gets lost. There are three key steps to follow to increase the safe return of your pet:
- Make sure your pet is wearing an ID tag with the correct information
- Make sure your pet is microchipped.
- Double check that your pet’s microchip is registered and contains the correct name and your current phone number and address, otherwise there’s no easy way to reach you if they’re found! If your pet is chipped but not registered, you can register for free here.
Head indoors before the fun begins. Don’t wait for the fireworks to be in full swing before taking care of your pet. It’s best to bring him or her indoors or put them in a cozy spot well ahead of the first boom of fireworks. In addition, create a safe, escape-proof space in your home. Lower the blinds, close the windows, provide a bed or crate where they feel comfortable, offer a special chew or toy to distract them and turn on the TV or radio to help mask the noises outside.
Try a calming aid: If you’re worried about a pet that stresses easily, talk to your vet in advance about CBD and anti-anxiety treats, chews, drops or other remedies that can help your pet relax. There are plenty of prescription and homeopathic solutions out there that can help your pet get the extra dose of relaxation he or she needs. According to a recent study commissioned by Michelson Found Animals, nearly 1/4 of pet parents have used CBD or hemp-based products as a form of therapy for themselves, and of those who have tried CBD products, almost 3/4 have also given CBD oil or hemp products to their pets as well.2
Wrap them up. Confining movement in dogs and cats actually has a calming effect on them, which is why you might want to consider an anti-anxiety wrap or coat. In a pinch, you can even create one from a scarf.
Check the Locks: Make sure that your doors, gates and windows are all closed prior to the fireworks display. Not only will this help muzzle the loud sounds that frighten pets, but will help prevent an escape!
1 According to American Humane Association estimates
2 Furred Lines: Pet Trends 2019; online survey to 1,056 dog or cat owners aged 18+