Thursday, June 28, 2007

10 Tips to Help Protect Pets on the Forth of July

As you might expect, the forth of July can be hell for cats and dogs. The tips below provide a few steps that can be taken to help alleviate the situation.


The Fourth is no fun for many pets

Thursday, June 28, 2007
By Linda Wilson Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The hiss, pop and crackle of July 4 fireworks can be terrifying or even deadly for dogs and other pets.

Online only

For more news you can use about pets, read Pet Tales Journal

Animals can be hurt by sparklers, cherry bombs and other kinds of fireworks set off in residential neighborhoods.

A lot of people don't realize that every year dogs and cats, terrified by fireworks, escape from their houses and yards. Many are never found, and some run out into roads and are killed by cars.

Warnings have been sent out by many animal organizations. The best of the batch this year comes from Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine.

"Owners need to use common sense when letting their pet join in the festivities," said Lorriane Corriveau, wellness veterinarian at the school in West Lafayette, Ind.

"Some dogs love to chase those spinning and swirling objects on the ground. Others are traumatized by loud noises. Owners can help with tricks that can be as simple as putting cotton in their pet's ears to muffle the sound."

Here are 10 tips from Dr. Corriveau:

Never leave pets alone outdoors, even if tethered or fenced. Dogs, especially, may escape and become lost. They may injure themselves by chewing or choking on their leashes. Keep small pets indoors and horses in their stalls.

Make sure all sharp objects are removed from enclosures.

Turn on the radio or TV for distraction.

Do not take pets to fireworks displays.

Do not leave a pet unattended in a car.

If a pet must be outside during July 4 festivities, make sure it is leashed or in a carrier.

Protect animals from children who may not realize that waving sparklers near a pet could upset the animal.

Keep ID tags current so the pet can be reunited with owners if loud noises cause it to run away.

Owners of dogs, cats or horses that have a history of being frightened during thunderstorms or fireworks should ask their veterinarian about administering sedatives or tranquilizers before the noise starts. Noise phobias can get worse with age.

Pick up leftover sparklers and other sharp objects when the festivities are over.

Tips come from many sources, including Going Home Greyhounds, the local group that finds homes for retired racing dogs.

Put a T-shirt that has been worn by a family member on your dog or in the dog's bed when you know the dog might be facing a stressful situation. This simple solution sometimes works wonders because the scent of the people they love can be very soothing for dogs.

So what's the deal with cats and with some of the people who own cats?

I'm talking about the endless flood of cats and kittens that are taken to animal shelters and animal rescues. I'm talking about the cats that are dumped in wooded areas and in some neighborhoods.

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