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Sun, Aug. 18

Powers: Be prepared for July 4th noise
All about pets

Dogs and other pets do not like the loud and sudden noise of fireworks. (Courier stock photo)

Dogs and other pets do not like the loud and sudden noise of fireworks. (Courier stock photo)

The 4th of July is probably the most troublesome holiday for our pets. (This affects all animals, including our horses.)

I have preached numerous times about the importance of crate training for your dogs and cats. This is the time when it is needed the most. I believe it to be a fact that more animals escape and run on this noisy and frightening holiday than at any other time.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has a list of safety tips for us. This holiday is just a week away. Take the needed steps now.

First of all, It is essential to have an ID tag attached to the collar with your name and contact information. Naturally, you want to keep the information current. Every dog and any outdoor cat should have a current license and these tags should be secured to a sturdy collar. Keep this collar on the pet at all times during these stressful times.

A microchip is most valuable. This chip, about the size of a grain of rice, is simply injected between the shoulder blades - and will remain permanently. If an animal is picked up by the humane society, they will check for the chip. Naturally, it is vital that the information connected to the chip is current. A simple phone call to the chip company can quickly update your information. But also, when getting the chip, you will be given a tag identifying the chip company and the 800 number to call if your pet is found. This too needs to be attached to the collar. But if by chance the collar gets lost, the chip will be there for identification. For someone finding a loose pet anytime, if he is not wearing a collar with his owners information, safely transport him to the humane society or a local vet, who can scan for a chip. Lost pet notices are frequently posted at nearby vet offices.

If you are heading out for some 4th of July events, which will probably include fireworks, leave the dog at home. But leave him in a safe place, which might be a crate with a sheet over the top. Do make sure that the air can circulate around and through the crate. Be sure to put one of his favorite toys in there and a non-spill container of water. There are unbreakable pails that can be attached to the side of the crate. Also, put a special something in there for him to chew on. A couple of dog biscuits are always welcome.

If your pet will not be in a crate, make sure that he is secure in the house. Restricting him to one room, with his bed and water, is a good plan. You do not want him running around from room to room in a panic looking for you.

Naturally, you want to make sure that he gets a good walk and some exercise before you leave him on this very noisy evening.

One additional caution, if walking with your dog around an area that had fireworks or sparklers, make sure he stays clear of them. They can be very dangerous.

Incidentally, just watching the news and hearing about a black bear that was killed only because he was too friendly. He had been fed consistently with wonderful tidbits from tourists who enjoyed getting close enough to take a selfie. The moral of this story is: do not feed wildlife. It is illegal but also very dangerous and these beautiful creatures who were meant to be wild animals are getting too accustomed to people’s handouts. This includes the deer and javelinas we often see wandering around our neighborhoods. I do wonder how they all handle the excessive noise of this annual celebration.

Christy Powers is a free lance writer whose passion is studying and writing about pet health, nutrition and training. She can be reached at cpowerspak@gmail.com.

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