Friday, July 04, 2008

Not so happy Fourth of July

It's that time of year again...time to celebrate our independence. Fun, right? Well, not so fun if you're a cat, dog, horse, get the picture. And not so fun if, like me, you have pets that are terrified of fireworks. The last few nights have been torture for my two dogs, Scout and Ziggy. With every little pop, crackle, snap, the shaking, pacing and panting begins. I've closed all of the windows, turned up the t.v., gathered them on my lap (all 60 and 40 pounds of them), trying to no avail, to calm them. If your pets are like mine, the Oregon Humane Society has some suggestions below to ensure your pets' comfort:
  1. Make sure all pets, even indoor-only cats, are wearing a collar with an identification tag that includes your name and telephone number. A microchip is also a good idea. Terrified animals will become confused and disoriented. They may end up miles from home or deep under a neighbor’s porch. This simple precaution will save a lot of anguish, time, and energy.
  2. Tonight, walk your dogs in the early evening – well before nightfall – to prevent undue stress from noisy fireworks.
  3. During neighborhood fireworks displays, keep all pets safely inside. Dogs, and cats, who are agitated should be put into a bathroom or other room with no windows, with the door secure. Remember, screen doors will not keep in a charging dog. Please do not take a dog to watch a large commercial fireworks display. This only increases the chances of him becoming lost in an unfamiliar area.
  4. In extreme cases, check with your veterinarian about tranquilizers.
If your pet becomes lost during the holiday (or at any time):
  1. Immediately check with your local animal control agency first.
  2. Put up flyers with a photo and detailed description of the missing pet.
  3. Check around the neighborhood carefully. Lost cats have been found days later hiding under a bush in front of their owners’ homes. For dogs, expand the search area further than expected as a precaution.
Here's wishing you and your four-legged loved ones a relatively happy and safe Fourth of July!

Brandie Ahlgren, founder
CityDog Magazine

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