Safety First on the Fourth

spcaLA offers these tips for a safe holiday

Los Angeles, CA – Independence Day’s fireworks displays and parties are a blast for people, but pets can sometimes be startled by all the commotion of loud noises and visitors. Every Independence Day, shelters fill with lost and injured pets. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) recommends taking these simple precautions to keep your pet happy and safe this July 4th.

    Microchip & I.D. tags: Dogs and cats should be microchipped and wear current I.D. tags at all times. This is the best way to ensure a happy reunion if your pet goes missing.
    Report lost pets: By law, you MUST report a lost pet to your local animal care services department. Please do this as anyone looking for a lost pet will start there.
    Keep pets indoors: Leave the family pet at home where he will be safe, secure, and less stressed. Loud noises from fireworks can cause a dog to jump a fence and run away from home, or a cat to hide for days. Keeping your pets indoors and secure will also keep them off dangerous roadways.
    Train your dog: Training your dog provides mental stimulation, reduces anxiety and enables you to have more control to manage your dog safely. spcaLA offers obedience training group classes and one to one private training.
    Keep pets comfortable: If you’re hosting a party, keep your pet in a cool, well-ventilated room with soothing music playing softly in the background. Include your pet’s favorite toys, a tasty chew, a stuffed frozen Kong, and a pet bed or blanket for comfort. Do this as well if you are going out but your pet is staying home.
    Refrain from restraint: Never tie your dog up outside to keep him from escaping. The loud noises from the fireworks can frighten your pooch making him more likely to attempt to flee. Dogs can seriously injure themselves, or even die, trying to escape.
    Educate children: Teach them to not scare or harm pets with firecrackers or sparklers, these can cause serious injury or death.
    Guard toxic chemicals and foods: Having a backyard BBQ? Keep alcoholic beverages, lighter fluids, matches, and insect repellents (like citronella candles) away from your pets. These items can be toxic or deadly when ingested or inhaled. Some foods are toxic or harmful for dogs like chocolate, onions, tomatoes, avocados and grapes. Watch out for cooked bones. When chewed and ingested, they can splinter and be fatal.
    Provide sun protection: If your pet requires sun protection, only use sunscreens intended for animals.