AMARILLO -- The Fourth of July is one of the most stressful and potentially dangerous times of the year for pets.
The July 4 holiday is a very busy time for animal shelters across the U.S. They report taking in a higher number dogs that run off during firework festivities.
In addition, many police stations log higher volumes of stray dog calls and barking complaints on July 4 compared to any other day of the year.
Ways to help your pet:
Do not take your pet to fireworks displays.
Do not leave your pet alone in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects even death in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
Keep your pets in your home in a comfortable and quiet area with the shades drawn. If your pet is crate trained, then their crate is a great choice. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you have removed any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep your pet company while you are attending Fourth of July picnics, parades, and other celebrations.
If you know that your pet is distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4 for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.
If your pet seeks comfort in a bathtub, under a bed or other small space...let them. Do not try to lure them out. If the space is safe and it makes them feel more secure, let them be.
Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally would not leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.
Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. Animals found running at-large should be taken to the local animal shelter, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.