by Katie Johnson
July Fourth should be a day of fun and celebration—not fretting over an anxious pet. Here’s how to keep your pet calm and safe during Fourth of July festivities, or any time you expect loud noises.
- Update all tag, pet licensing and microchip information. Use July Fourth as your annual reminder to check that all your contact information is current.
- It may go without saying, but don’t bring pets to fireworks displays. If you do decide to take your dog out during the fireworks, be sure, as always, to keep it on a leash.
- Don’t underestimate your pet’s ability to get away in a panic by jumping fences it’s never jumped before, slipping out the door, crawling into walls/under beds, etc. Its heightened state of anxiety can make your pet faster and slinkier.
- Keep your pet indoors in the quietest room in the house, with the doors and windows closed. Cover the windows or keep your pet in a room without any windows so it feels safe.
- Play soothing music or turn on a TV or fan to drown out anxiety-producing sounds. Familiar indoor sounds will be a comfort to your pet.
- Distract the pet with its favorite toy, treat or game.
- If you know your pet is anxious on the Fourth of July or is sensitive to sounds in general, speak with your vet about anti-anxiety medications, and stay home with your pet to monitor its behavior.
Should your pet go missing, refer to the following search tips and techniques:
- If your pet is microchipped, reach out to the company where the chip is registered.
- Visit your local animal shelter with a flyer including your pet’s picture and your information. Check back every few days as animals are held for three days before being evaluated for adoption.
- For pets lost in Seattle, visit the Seattle Animal Shelter website for found pets as well as animals available for adoption. You may also call the shelter’s Lost Pet Hotline at 206-386-7387. Be sure to visit the shelter too.
- Post large, bright, colorful signs featuring a photo of your pet around your neighborhood. Also post signs at veterinarians’ offices and stores that offer community posts.
- Think about places your pet may have gone that are familiar. A park you frequent on walks? A neighbor who leaves the door open or treats outside?
- Be internet and social media savvy. Post an ad on Craigslist or a neighborhood website such as West Seattle Blog, Nextdoor, or My Ballard.
- Post pictures of your missing pet on your preferred social media channel and encourage your friends to share the post.