ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Pet owners are being reminded to keep animals safe around Independence Day festivities.
“We see a large number of injuries around the Fourth of July holiday stemming from dogs or cats frightened by loud noises like fireworks,” said Dr. Christian Broadhurst, senior staff veterinarian at Clay Humane. “By taking a few steps to prepare your pet for the holiday, you can help ensure your beloved family pet doesn’t go missing or get hurt during Independence Day celebrations.”
Dr. Broadhurst recommends keeping pets calm and comfortable during Fourth of July festivities with five simple tips:
- Keep Pets Indoors: Loud noises, such as fireworks and loud music, can scare animals, causing them to jump fences and run away. Offer pets a quiet and comfortable place inside your home to relax like a crate or a bathroom without windows. Give your pets a bed or towels to sleep, ample food and water.
- Avoid Alcohol: Beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks can poison pets or cause them to become weak and disoriented. It can even lead to a coma or death. Keep all unattended cocktails away from pets.
- Stay Away from Flames: Curious kitties and puppies may enjoy the smell of food on the grill, burning themselves after sniffing a little too close to the flames. Home fireworks are also dangerous and can cause severe burns. Make sure to keep animals away from sparklers, lighters, charcoal and candles.
- Don’t take your pets to fireworks shows: Pets are often startled by loud noises, so leave them home during fireworks displays. Many pets go missing when they hear the loud sounds of fireworks, so keep them in a safe and secure location.
- Make sure your pets are microchipped and wearing identification: Register your pets’ microchips with your information and ensure tags have up-to-date phone numbers and addresses. If your pet disappears, animals with proper identification are much more likely to return home.
If your pet goes missing or you find a lost pet, call the local city shelter in your area:
- Clay County Animal Care & Control - 904.269.6342 - http://www.claycountygov.com/departments/animal-care-control
- City of Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services - 904.630.CITY -http://www.coj.net/departments/neighborhoods/animal-care---protective-services.aspx
- St. Johns County Division of Animal Control Pet Center - 904.209.0746 - http://www.co.st-johns.fl.us/animalcontrol/petcenter.aspx
- Nassau County Animal Services – 904.530.6150 - http://www.nassaucountyfl.com/index.aspx?nid=144