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Keep Your Pets Safe on the 4th

The office will be closed for the July 4th holiday. Please be careful with your pets during celebrations. By Brenna Fender

The USDAA office will be closed July 4th and 5th in observance of the holiday and will reopen on July 8th.

More animals are lost on the 4th of July than on any other day of the year. Loud fireworks frighten many animals, who may mindlessly run when scared. How can you keep your dogs (and cats too) safe on this holiday?

Before the holiday:

*Put a collar and ID tag on your pet. Include your address and phone number. Consider microchipping your pet for permanent identification.

*If your pet really panics over the loud noises, discuss the possible use of sedatives or other medications with your vet.

*In the weeks prior to the holiday, consider playing fireworks noises quietly in the background while your pet eats or does other pleasant activities so that he can form positive associations with the noises.

During the 4th:

*If you are having a party during the day with lots of folks coming in and out of your house or yard, secure your pet elsewhere so that he isn't accidentally let out. (This also keeps him from being stepped on or fed inappropriate food.)

*While fireworks are going off, keep your pet indoors. If you have to go out so that your dog may eliminate, do so in a securely fenced area or put your dog on leash. Better yet, get your dog out to potty before the action.

*Drown out the noise with music or TV.

*Act as normal as you can, but also comfort your pet if necessary. If your dog will play ball, tug, or engage in another fun activity with you during parts of the evening, that can be a great distraction, with the added bonus of helping to desensitize your pet to the loud noises.

*Offer a crate or other safe space to your dog to see if that makes him more comfortable.

The next morning:

*Check your yard for debris. Fireworks produce refuse that has to land somewhere!

Please take care and have a safe and happy 4th of July!


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