BACKYARD BARBECUES, NOISY PARADES, LOTS OF LOUD MUSIC AND, OF COURSE, FIREWORKS --these summertime rituals are all great fun for people, but they are traumatic and dangerous to their pets.
More pets run away from home over the Fourth of July holiday than any other. And with many towns holding fireworks displays throughout the summer, summertime runaways are becoming more and more commonplace.
This sweet pup awaits his independence at our Tinton Falls shelter.
“They’re beautiful for us to look at, but many people forget that their dogs’ hearing is much more acute than theirs. Dogs don’t understand the thunderous noise of fireworks and instinctively try to run away from the sound,” said Roseann Trezza, Executive Director, Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park. “So, as soon as they have a chance – maybe a fence to jump, or an open door to run out of – a fearful dog will run fast.”
Many dogs experience similar phobias during thunderstorms or when loud music is being played. Your dog may show the following signs: shaking, drooling, howling or barking, finding a place in the house to hide, and loss of bladder or bowel control.
Associated Humane Societies offers the following tips to keep pets feeling safe and secure when during fireworks or thunderstorms.
- Take your pet for a walk or play date before the fireworks start. This allows your dog to exercise, release energy and, of course, go “potty”.
- Keep pets indoors. They may even feel safer if they are placed in a smaller interior room.
- Close your windows. Dogs and cats, in particular, can try and get out of the house by pushing
- Make sure your pet has a license and an identification tag on its collar or consider having a microchip identification inserted into your pet.
This cat wants YOU! to adopt him from our Newark shelter!
Summertime pet safety means more than just preparing your pets for noise. Those lazy crazy days of summer for us are filled with a number of hazards for pets.
- Keep Pets Away from Your Drinks. A cold beer or cooler may hit the spot for you, but it is potentially lethal to your pets, who can become intoxicated, weak and even comatose from drinking any alcoholic beverage.
- Skip the Sunscreen: Sunscreen and insect repellent not labeled specifically for use on animals can be poisonous if the pet ingests it. Play it safe and don’t use it on your pets.
- Matches, lighter fluid and citronella are outside staples that absolutely need to stay out of the reach of your pets. All are poisonous to animals.
- Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in animals.
- A day at the beach for you is fun. A day at the beach for your dog is potentially deadly. Sand is hot and uncomfortable. Salt water is dangerous to drink and unless there is a cool shady area, the constant sunshine makes pets susceptible to heat stroke.
- Never, ever leave a pet alone in a vehicle. Even on an overcast, cooler spring day, temperatures inside your car can reach 120 to 130 degrees in less than a half-hour. Just a few minutes in those conditions can be detrimental to your pet’s health and safety. Not only that, more and more dogs are being stolen from unattended vehicles. Once again, just leave them home.
- Don’t leave your pet unattended outside, even in a fenced in yard. Fearful pets, even those who are usually placid, often find ways to scale fences or climb under them in an attempt to get away from something. It takes just seconds for your dog to run away, or have its leash or collar tangled on a fencepost, tree or other object.
- Make sure screened windows are secure, especially those on upper levels. Despite what many think, cats can be seriously injured or die from window falls. You know that your window ledge is at a dangerously high level, but your cat does not.
Make a new friend or a family addition -- there are hundreds of dogs and cats waiting for love at the Associated Humane Societies’ three animal shelters in Forked River, Tinton Falls and Newark. Summer is the perfect time to get to know each other!