Happy 4th, Not so Happy 5th.


Everybody loves fireworks right? Nope! Did you know that July 5th is the single busiest day at most animal shelters? The busiest day around the country is July 5th. Shelters are "absolutely chock full of terrified dogs on the day after the Fourth of July," said Dr. Kate F. Hurley, director of the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the University of California at Davis Center for Companion Animal Health. A quick poll of DFW Metroplex Shelters confirms the same is true here! With the busy Summer season most shelters are beyond crammed so lost dogs frequently can't be held beyond the required 3-7 days. A microchip can help assure your pet will find its way back to you quickly.

Fireworks cause high levels of stress and anxiety for dogs during the 4th of July. In her days as an animal control officer, Dr. Hurley saw dogs "jump through plate glass windows, they were so freaked out." Some dogs even need heavy tranquilizers to get through the night, she added. (Full article link posted at end of this story.)

Dogstar compiled a great list of 10 Tips to Help Keep your pet safe. Click on the link at the end of the story to read the whole article.

  • Beware of fireworks. Fireworks are no blast for some pets, with many dogs becoming easily frightened by their deafening roar. The best option is to leave your dog indoors (not leashed in the yard) during the holiday weekend in a safe, secure, escape-proof room of the house with comfy bed, food and water. Also consider leaving a TV or radio on to drown out the sound of the fireworks and to provide familiar noises while youre out.
  • Give them a den. Provide anxiety-prone pets give a crate to hide in, if they're already crate trained. Cover this den with a towel for added security.
  • Be a comfort. Speak calmly to your dog and offer soft massage. TLC goes a long way in easing anxiety. Some dogs also get less anxious when they can have treats, but don't overdo it.
  • Confirm your pets collar and I.D. information. Dogs can become easily frightened by loud celebrations on the 4th of July. Make sure yours is wearing a properly fitted collar with correct identification and tags just in case he or she becomes scared and runs away from home. Micro-chipping also is a great precaution to make it easier for your pooch to be returned home safely and promptly.
  • Be careful with 4th of July decorations. Remember that your pet may easily mistake your red, white and blue decorations and glow sticks as chew toys. Make sure to pet-proof your home and keep fun decorations out of paws reach.
  • Think about a vet visit. If you know that your dog is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.
  • Thundershirts are one option for keeping your dog calm this holiday weekend. Try an Anxiety Wrap or a Thundershirt . Used by leading behavior experts across the country, these Velcro-wrap shirts comfort pets. They're akin to the time-tested trick of swaddling an infant.
  • Don't leave your dog in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your dog can suffer serious health effects-even death-in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
  • Watch the booze. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets; never leave your beverage unattended. If alcohol is ingested, your pet could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed, and could go into a coma or worse.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration is the #1 concern and danger during those long summer heat waves. Make sure you have a generous amount of fresh water on hand to quench your dogs thirst.