ALL PETS: Keep your pet safe this Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is so exciting we sometimes forget to consider how the holiday may affect our pets. According to The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County, July 4th and 5th are the two days when the greatest number of lost dogs and cats are reported to animal shelters across the United States.

The shelter offers the following tips so you can keep your pets safe before, during and after Independence Day:

  • Don’t take your pet to fireworks displays. Since fireworks often frighten our four-legged friends, never take them to Independence Day events or keep them waiting in the car. Heat and humidity inside a car can injure or kill your pet – even after nightfall. Leaving your car window cracked isn’t a safe option either, since heat is still an issue and strangers can easily steal your pet. It’s best to leave animals at home where they feel most comfortable.
  • Walk dogs prior to nightfall. Dogs may become fearful upon seeing or hearing fireworks. Walk your dog on a leash at dusk when it’s both cool and quiet outside.
  • Keep pets indoors. Dogs and cats left in yards or in screened patio enclosures will often dig, climb or tear through patio screens when hearing fireworks or other noises. The safest place for your pet is in your home. Create a sanctuary by putting your pet in a quiet room and turning on soft music or talk radio.
  • Speak with your vet. If your pet usually becomes anxious from loud noises, speak with your vet prior to Independence Day to determine if medication might be an appropriate solution for noise-related stress.
  • I.D. is the key. It’s best for your pet to be microchipped AND wear a collar and current I.D. tag. Humane Society I.D. tags are available free of charge to Indian River County residents and can be obtained by visiting the Humane Society at 6230 77th St., Vero Beach. Microchipping is an inexpensive and fast procedure performed by a veterinarian that provides your pet with life-long, permanent identification. Please speak with your vet about microchipping your companion animals before the Fourth.

Call the Humane Society immediately if your pet becomes lost and make sure you have clear photos on hand. The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County makes every effort to reunite lost pets with their families. If your pet becomes lost, call (772) 388-3331 ext. 29 or e-mail [email protected]

Families should visit the Humane Society to look for their pet as well as file lost reports with other animal shelters, humane societies and animal control facilities within a 50 mile radius of their home.

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