Amarillo, Texas – Many Amarillo residents will celebrate Independence day starting this weekend and Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare (AAM&W) encourages everyone to keep the safety of our pets in mind. AAM&W suggests owners keep pets from the noise and in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home. Cats and dogs have acute hearing and frequently become more sensitive to loud noises, like fireworks, as they grow older. Even if they have not reacted in the past, your pet may become fearful and frightened and may unintentionally hurt someone or themselves. 

Other tips to consider in keeping your pets safe this holiday weekend include:

  • Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a tether. In their fear, pets who normally would not leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their tether – risking injury or death.
  • It is best to place your pet in a small room located inside of your house that a pet cannot escape from. Playing a radio softly or leaving a TV on for noise may help distract your pet. Providing toys or chew bones will serve to distract them further. If your pet has an extreme fear of loud noises (like fireworks), speak to your veterinarian as soon as possible about options for keeping your pets as comfortable as you can. Remember, dogs and cats have significantly better hearing than humans do so every firework that goes off sounds incredibly loud to them.
  • If your animal does become lost at anytime, start looking for your pet immediately.
  • Do not leave your pet 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.
  • Don’t let your pets get close to fireworks because they can cause severe burns; unused fireworks and fireworks debris are also hazardous if ingested.
  • Even if your pet has been microchipped, make sure they are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. If your pet is microchipped, make sure that all of your information is current and up to date with the microchip company at all times.

Signs that a pet is afraid include shaking, trembling, barking, howling, excessive drooling, frantic pacing, attempting to hide, refusing to eat, or trying to escape from the house, car, or enclosed yard. A frightened or panicked pet that has escaped its enclosure has a greater chance of being hit by a vehicle or becoming disoriented and separated from its family.

In the unfortunate event your pet does become lost during the holiday weekend, remember that the City has an online search tool to reunite lost pets with their owners at AAM&W is closed Wednesday, July 4 to observe the holiday and will reopen at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 5.