Prepare your pets: noise and flash of Independence Day results in terrified, lost pets

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 9:55 PM EDT
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AIKEN, SC. (WRDW/WAGT) - Phones at animal shelters always blow up with calls from citizens who have lost their dogs or cats because the animals panicked from fireworks. Aiken County has tips on how you can help your pet this weekend.

Nationwide, more pets go missing July 4 through 6 than any other time of year. According to PetAmberAlert, a lost pet finder that helps four-legged family members find their way home, animal control officials across the nation report a 30 percent to 60 percent increase in lost pets each year between these dates.

So the Aiken County Animal Shelters has the following tips for preparing your pets for fireworks activity taking place near your home:

1. Be sure your pet is microchipped and has your contact information on his collar in case he runs away.

2. If your pet is inside, close the curtains/blinds and play soothing music to mask the outside explosions.

3. Provide a hiding spot for your cat or dog that they have access to at all times. Examples include under furniture, in crate, in quiet corner

4. If your pet must remain outside, stay with him, and comfort him.

5. Walk your dog during the daylight hours and keep dogs and cats indoors when the fireworks are likely to be set off

6. Some dogs are calmed by “thunder shirts” and you can also reduce your pets’ anxiety with pheromone diffusers

7. Feed your pet a solid meal an hour or two before the fireworks are scheduled to start. He will feel more relaxed and content, like you do after a big meal.

The Aiken County Animal Shelter and FOTAS contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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