While the Fourth of July may be all barbecues and fireworks for people, more pets are reported missing during the holiday than any other time of year, according to the organization, Pet Amber Alert.
Alicia Schwartz, who works with Project Safe Pet in York County and the York County Animal Shelter, said the holiday can be a traumatic time for animals and advised pet owners to follow some extra safety guidelines to keep their animal companions safe and at home.
1. Don’t take your pet to an outdoors fireworks event, even in your own yard. Many animals will flee at the sound of loud noises, seeking safety, no matter where they are.
2. Keep your dog or cat in a secure place during fireworks, preferably indoors or in a crate. Animals are much more sensitive than humans to loud noises and need to feel safe. Never leave your pet in a closed car, even at night.
3. If your pet is extremely fearful of loud noises, consider purchasing a Thunder Shirt (Petsmart, $39.99). These heavy vests help suppress an animal’s central nervous system to calm them.
4. If using fireworks at home, keep your animal inside. Fireworks can cause severe burns, and they can be poisonous if ingested.
5. Make sure your pet is properly tagged and identified and have a search plan if he or she runs off. Contact local shelters, put up signs and use social media to get the word out as soon as possible if your pet is missing.
Rachel Southmayd • 803-329-4072