As residents begin planning their Fourth of July celebrations, Acadiana Animal Aid is putting out a plea asking that animals be kept in mind, as there is often an increase of lost pets following the Fourth of July.
Festivities for the holiday often include fireworks and other commotion, which can be stressful to pets or result in them getting lost. For the safety and protection of our pets, AAA joins the Humane Society of the United States in recommending the following:
§ Leave pets at home and inside. Fireworks can be terrifying to pets, even pets who are accustomed to being around crowds and commotion.
§ Create a home sanctuary. Leave your pet in an area of your home where he or she is safe, comfortable and sheltered from any outside noise and lights. An interior room without immediate access to the outside is preferred. Playing a radio with relaxing music may help mask the sound of fireworks. We have found that playing classical music, or an audiobook (like Harry Potter) is very soothing to the animals.
§ Pet-proof your home. When scared, some animals may become destructive so be sure to remove anything from reach that can become damaged or may harm the pet if chewed or eaten.
§ Identification is essential. Pets may panic, escape and become lost. Updated identification is critical to ensuring lost pets are reunited with their families. Ideal identification is both a tag and microchip (make sure your chip is registered and up to date on a site such as www.petmicrochiplookup.org).
§ Consult a veterinarian for pets with anxiety. Consult your veterinarian before the Fourth of July to seek out remedies to lower your pet’s stress level if this is a known issue. There are newer medications on the market, such as Sileo, that decrease their anxiety, without the sedating effects of some of the other medications. There are plenty of options that your vet can tell you about, and it never hurts to err on the side of caution.
Every year, right after the 4th of July, Acadiana Animal Aid and other shelters in our community are inundated with pets that were lost from the fireworks and all the noise surrounding the 4th of July. While we hope to rehome these pets to their families, it does not always work out that way, and that pet may never see his home again. Please do everything you can to keep your pets safe and with you this holiday.
If the worst happens, and you do lose your pet, here are some tips.
Remember that KATC also has several lost and found pet pages on Facebook where you can post photos of pets you’ve lost, or pets you have found and need to get back to their families.