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Tips to protect pets on Independence Day

Many animals suffer avoidable injuries, disappear during July Fourth festivities

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ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Pet owners are encouraged to take a few steps to keep their furry friends safe this Fourth of July.

"Many pets suffer injuries during the Fourth of July holiday. Many are scared by loud noises like fireworks, causing them to jump fences and run away. Others are burned by firecrackers, and other pets are sickened by alcohol or foods they do not typically eat,” said Dr. Christian Broadhurst, senior staff veterinarian at Clay Humane. "With just a few simple steps, pet owners can ensure their pets are safe during Independence Day festivities."

Broadhurst recommends the following tips to keep your pets safe over the Fourth of July:

  • Make sure your pets are microchipped and wearing identification:  Register your pets’ microchips with your information and ensure that their tags have up-to-date phone numbers and addresses. If your pet disappears, animals with proper identification are much more likely to return home.
  • Keep pets indoors: Give pets a quiet and comfortable place inside your home to relax, such as a crate or a bathroom without windows. Make sure pets have a bed or towels to sleep on and ample food and water. Loud noises can frighten animals, causing them to run away, so it is important to keep them indoors.
  • Avoid alcohol and some foods: Beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks can poison pets and can even lead to a coma or death. Keep all unattended cocktails away from pets. Also ensure that your pet does not ingest human foods. Give them treats meant for them to keep their stomachs from becoming upset. Many foods, such as garlic, grapes and onions, are poisonous to pets, so those must be kept away from animals at all times. 
  • Stay away from flames: Curious kitties and puppies may burn themselves while trying to enjoy the smell of food on the grill. Home fireworks are also dangerous and can cause severe burns. Make sure to keep animals away from grills, 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 run away when they hear the loud sounds of fireworks, so keep them in a safe and secure location.  
  • If your vanishes or you find a lost pet, call the local shelter in your community:

    • Clay County Animal Services - 904-269-6342
    • Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services - 904-360-CITY (2489)
    • Jacksonville Humane Society - 904-725-8766
    • St. Johns County Division of Animal Control Pet Center - 904-209-6190
    • Nassau County Animal Services - 904-530-6150