Keep your pets safe during 4th of July events and fireworks with these tips

SAINT ANTONY – The 4th of July is an exciting time for people to be outdoors, with friends and family, and around fireworks.

But dogs may not enjoy loud noises and people as much as their humans. Some of the explosions or loud activities can be life threatening or overwhelm the dogs and cats.

Animal Care Services reminds pet owners to plan ahead and take a few precautions this Monday for Independence Day. They offered the following tips to protect pets.

  • Pets don’t like loud noises. Some area cities are still scheduled to hold official fireworks displays, but these events are not places for pets. Leave them at home in a safe and quiet area where they will be safe.
  • A collar and microchip identification can help your pet find his way home if he gets lost. Stray animals are at risk of being picked up by city animal care officers. Your pet’s registered microchip ID is more than your ticket home: microchips are the law in San Antonio and city residents can get this secure, permanent form of ID for their pet for FREE at any time during the regular business hours at ACS. For more information, visit www.saacs.net. No appointments needed for microchipping.

  • Don’t leave pets unattended outside, even in a fenced-in yard. Pets can overreact when they are scared and that dog who would never leave your yard before could easily dig a hole under the fence to escape the noise. Fear of fireworks and outdoor gatherings can also cause your pet to become entangled in their leash.

  • Never leave your pet in the car while enjoying the party. The South Texas heat can kill. It only takes a few minutes for your car’s temperature to rise above 120 degrees. Pets left in cars, even with a broken window, can quickly become heat stressed. Don’t risk your pet’s life. Leave your pet at home.

  • People food for people, please. This one can be difficult, especially when they look at you with those eyes. If you are going to give your dog some leftovers, stay away from the bones and try to keep it to a minimum. A good option for dogs that you could have at your Independence Day party? Watermelon! Simply remove the seeds and shell. Alcohol can be fatal to a dog and should never be given to any animal.

  • Look at the barbecue pit. If it smells good to you, imagine how it smells to your dog. Some smaller holes can be knocked over by a dog. Plus, a hungry pup can get sneaky and you don’t want to miss the fireworks that land Rover in the ER because he ate five chicken skewers, skewers included.

  • Give your pet some peace and quiet. An enclosed area inside your home can be a boon to a nervous pet. Some pets become destructive when they are scared, so be sure to remove anything your pet can destroy. Provide some toys to occupy your pet’s time. If your pet is crate-trained, make sure he can snuggle up inside. Fresh food and water are a must and a treat or two wouldn’t hurt either!

  • Protect your pet from pranksters. Some cases of animal cruelty begin as what some consider “harmless pranks.” But there’s nothing harmless (or legal) about shooting fireworks at a pet. Bring outside pets indoors, at least at night. ACS will investigate anyone suspected of cruelly treating any animal.

  • If in doubt, consult your veterinarian. Your veterinarian and local pet stores have a variety of remedies available to calm your pet’s nerves and calm him down.

  • Animal Care Services will be closed Monday for the holiday, but animal care officers will be on duty. Residents can still call 311 for questions and service requests.

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