A SAFE and HAPPY 4th of July To Pooches and Their People!!

The 4th of July, Independence Day, is a huge celebration here in the U.S.  On this National holiday American's celebrate our country's independence.  American's celebrate with picnics, BBQs, parades, speeches, and of course FIREWORKS!  Lots and lots of FIREWORKS! 

Isis and Phoebe are ready to celebrate!
I'm sure other pet bloggers will be addressing 4th of July safety for dogs this week but I'd like to focus specifically on some of the top reasons pets get Lost over 4th of July weekend.  At the animal shelter where I volunteer, July 4th weekend is unfortunately a very busy time for intake of animals, especially dogs.  We're not alone in July 4th being one of our busiest intake weekends of the year. 

Many pets who were lost during the holiday weekend will quickly go up for adoption because their owner could not be identified.  There is usually a short amount of time most shelters will hold a dog waiting to see if an owner shows up.  IF a dog isn't micro chipped AND isn't wearing a collar with current information, there is often a waiting period of only 2 to 4 days where a shelter holds the dog to provide the owner an opportunity to find and claim him.  Waiting periods are often dictated by local law.  After the brief waiting period, if no owner has claimed him the dog is given a cursory vet check and behavior assessment and then made available to the public for adoption.

Phoebe's wearing her patriotic beads!
There are several reasons why so many dogs get lost on 4th of July weekend. I'm going to focus on some of the most common:

Fireworks Noise: This is probably the number one reason dogs go missing during 4th of July weekend.  Many dogs are terrified of the booming noises caused by fireworks.  The dog's first reaction is often to hide under a bed or in a closet.  However, if a door or window is open and your property isn't fully secured your dog may run away from the house trying to escape the noise. 

Camping: Lots of people choose to go camping on 4th of July weekend and want their dogs to join the fun.  Campgrounds will be far more crowded with strange people and dogs than usual.  This may make your dog anxious.  Throw in loud noises and lights from fireworks and camp fires and your dog may become even more anxious and try to run away from it. Your dog may not think your tent or camper is a safe enough place to hide.  He may run away in an attempt to find a more secure spot.  Another reason dogs go missing is that the kids may take the dog for a walk around the camp grounds and don't know to exercise more caution and awareness in a strange environment.

Visiting:  Visiting the home of someone else or having people visit your home can create an issue.  If your dog is in a strange home where he doesn't feel secure, loud noises and people can frighten him.  He may run off, trying to get back home or to find a secure place to hide out.  Conversely, if you have visitors in your home be aware of your dog's whereabouts at all times.  Guests may not know to watch out for door dashing, they may even leave doors open not realizing it's a danger to your pet.  Friends of ours had an overnight guest who stepped outside to smoke at night, leaving the patio door slightly ajar.  No one realized the cat slipped had out until the next morning.  They never saw their beautiful cat again.

Water hazards: A fun filled day at the lake may be on a lot of peoples' agendas this weekend.  Your dog may be very attracted to the water but don't let him wander around near water unsupervised.  It may be too deep for your dog, there may be a current your dog can't manage, or your dog may go swimming and get too tired to make it back to shore.  Bring along a brightly colored life vest or other flotation device for your dog in case he decides to go bounding into the water!  Not every dog is a good swimmer!

Collars frequently get lost, especially when a frightened dog is fleeing loud fireworks.  A collar can easily get snagged on a branch, rock, or other object and break off, or a fearful dog can slip out of a collar as a stranger tries to grab him.  I know I sometimes sound like a broken record saying this, but Please micro chip your dog!  It really is the best way for a shelter or veterinarian to identify an owner. It might be one of the best investments you make for your dog.  It's fast, easy, & inexpensive.

While 4th of July is a time for humans to have fun and let loose, it may make your dog stressed and anxious. 

Isis wants all pooches to be SAFE this 4th of July!


M. K. Clinton said...

I just had to put Bentley's ThunderShirt on him, because the dummies that own the fireworks stands near our home decided to shoot fireworks this late at night. GRRRR! Great tips for a safe 4th of July! ♥

Two French Bulldogs said...

Very important. All we can say is blast the TV
Lily & Edward

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

I can't stand that - one day just isn't enough for people, the fireworks go on & on out here. Poor Isis, she's scared furless! Glad you have the T'shirt, I hear it works well. Not looking forward to the noise part of this holiday weekend!

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Blasting the TV or radio is a very good idea, that's what we'll be doing this weekend! Stay safe Lily & Edward, you gorgeous Frenchies! Thanks for visiting us today - wags from Isis & Phoebe to Lily & Edward!

Unknown said...

You have some wonderful tips! Thank you for sharing! I wish you a safe and happy 4th of July!!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Thanks Jenna! Thanks for visiting us today!

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