Maddie's Pet Project

How to protect your pet for July 4th

By Kimberly Wade
One of our goals at Maddie's® Pet Project in Nevada is to keep pets out of shelters and in their existing homes—and July 4th is perhaps the riskiest day of the year for them to escape because of stress brought on by fireworks and their loud noises.

According to the American Humane Association, July 5th is the busiest day at animal shelters nationwide. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe for the upcoming holiday:

PRIOR TO JULY 4TH:
•Make sure your pet is microchipped and registered with current information. Registration is easy with the Found Animals Registry, a free service, or you can contact the provider of your microchip.
•Make sure pet collars are secure and that tags are up to date.
•Register your dog with Finding Rover, a website that uses photos as facial recognition to help find your dog.
•Have recent photos of your pet in your phone or on your computer so you can easily make lost pet flyers.

DURING JULY 4TH CELEBRATIONS:
•At dusk, bring your pets inside. Even if they are usually fine outside, fireworks can scare even the most well-behaved pet!
•Don’t take your pet to parties. If you’re hosting, keep your pet in a crate or other small space that is secure (keep windows closed too). Startled pets have been known to break through screens and push doors open, so locked doors and windows are best. This also prevents people from opening doors and letting your pet out.
•Turn on the TV or calming music. It helps relieve stress and lets them focus on something other than the fireworks.
•Engage them with a special toy or long-lasting chew treat. This works well for food motivated dogs even in stressful times.

Animal control organizations are the ones generally who pick up stray animals. If your pet gets out, here are the phone numbers for reaching those in Nevada:
•Washoe County – 775-322-3647
•Carson City – 775-887-2171
•Las Vegas – 702-229-6444
•North Las Vegas – 702-633-1750
•Clark County – 702-455-7710
•Henderson – 702-267-4970
•Elko – 775-777-7310
•Ely – 775-289-2791

If you do lose your own pet or find one, file a report with your local animal control. Visit your local shelter or check their website daily; lost pets can turn up any time. Use social media to share photos of your lost pet or the pet you found. Don’t give up! People and pets are reunited all the time.

CAPTION: Shelter kittens show their 4th of July pride during a fun photo shoot. Photo courtesy of Susan Koppel.

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