Protect pets from dangers of July 4th fireworks

Every year, animal shelters see a surge in lost animals around the Fourth of July. Many pets are terrified of fireworks and escape from homes, yards or kennels due to panic.

If your pet is stressed or frightened by fireworks, keep them indoors in an interior room with no windows. Stay with your pet if possible when you hear fireworks; playing a radio to distract your pet from the noise can help. If you do need to take your dog outside, keep them on leash- and remember, backyard fireworks usually start well before and last a few days after July 4. Talk to your veterinarian if your pet has severe anxiety about fireworks, as they may have additional recommendations.

Make sure dogs wear current licenses and identification tags at all times in case they do get lost. Microchipping your pet is another way to ensure their identification, and make sure if your pet is already microchipped that the registered contact information is up to date. If your pet becomes lost, contact your county’s Animal Control Department to file a lost report, and visit the shelter to see if your pet has been brought in. Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter will give special consideration on redemption fees for pets lost due to fireworks for County residents.

Summer is also the time of year when most dog bites occur. Kids being out of school and spending time outdoors means more interaction with dogs. Teach your children never to approach dogs without their owners’ permission, and make sure they know how to properly approach dogs to minimize risk. The ASPCA offers sound advice for parents, children and dog owners under “Dog Bite Prevention” on their website.

Stray dogs should be reported to local animal control or law enforcement.

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