Tuesday, 25 June 2013 16:48

Tips for a Safe Fourth of July with Your Pets Featured

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(June 25, 2013)—The Humane Society of the United States and its veterinary affiliate the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association encourage pet owners to take extra precautions to keep their pets safe this Independence Day.

Many pets can become overwhelmed by the noise and commotion associated with parades and fireworks displays. In fact, so many pets become frightened and try to flee the sights and sounds that animal shelters around the nation report a dramatic increase in lost pets during the holiday.

“Our pets are more sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and strong smells than we are, so Fourth of July festivities can quickly become frightening,” said KC Theisen, The HSUS’ director of pet care issues. “Provide them with a safe, secure place to stay while you enjoy the holiday.”

Barry Kellogg, VMD, senior veterinary advisor for HSVMA added, “It is very important to remember that a dog doesn’t have to be shut in a car to be at risk of heat stroke. Pet owners need to be aware of this issue before it occurs, as it can turn deadly very quickly.”

Follow these simple tips for a safe Fourth of July holiday with your pets:

Keep all pets safely confined indoors on the 4th and the few days before and after the holiday, when people may be inclined to set off fireworks. There are many family and group activities that are perfect for pets, but a public fireworks display or any other type of gathering where fireworks will be set off usually isn’t one of them. It’s best to leave your pets safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV turned on to dampen jarring noises. Pets usually kept outdoors should be brought inside as an extra measure of safety. And if you must take your pet with you to an Independence Day event, keep her leashed and under your direct control at all times.

Never leave your pet in a parked car. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise to dangerous levels within minutes. On an 85 degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car even with the windows cracked open can reach 102 degrees within just 10 minutes; after 30 minutes the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Even when the temperature outside is a balmy 72 degrees, the temperature inside your car can rocket to a fatal 116 degrees in less than an hour’s time. Additionally, a dog in a car is an invitation for theft, of the dog, the car, or both. Protect your pet by taking him with you when you leave the car, or leaving him at home if he cannot join your activities.

Consult your veterinarian if your pet is distressed by loud noises like fireworks displays. Your veterinarian may be able to recommend medications and techniques to help alleviate your pet’s fear and anxiety. The Humane Society of the United States also offers tips for helping your dog cope with loud noises like thunder and fireworks.

Ensure your pet is wearing a collar and identification tag with current contact information so you can be reunited quickly if your pet does escape. All pets, even those kept indoors full-time, should wear collars with identification tags at all times. Indoor-only animals can become so frightened during fireworks displays that they take desperate measures to escape the noise, such as breaking through window or door screens. As an extra precaution, it’s a good idea to have your pet microchipped, with your current contact information registered with the chip company. If your pet does become lost, contact your local animal control and surrounding shelters immediately. If you find a lost pet, either take her to the address on the tag or bring her to the local animal shelter so she can be reunited with her family.

For more pet care resources, visit humanesociety.org/pets.

Subscribe to Wayne Pacelle’s blog, A Humane Nation. Follow The HSUS PR department on Twitter for the latest animal welfare news. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at humanesociety.org.

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Jon Patch

Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin' Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. I worked with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for19 years under the title of V.P. Affiliate Relations and Programming, later worked with Genesis Communications until starting a new network ATRN.  Currently working with GAB Radio Network and with Josh Leng at Talk Media Network.  I am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin' Pets, for the past 29 years... My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind whom all share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. This is the only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever...

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