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The Sad Side To The 4th of July

July 3, 2013

For Americans, the Fourth of July represents freedom. Unfortunately, it can unintentionally mean the same for far too many pets each year.

Photo courtesy 37prime.

More pets go missing around the Fourth of July than any other time of the year. In fact, Animal Control Services reports a 30 percent increase in lost pets between July 4-6. Sources claim that July 5 is one of the business days for shelters.

The reason is simple: Our pets have heightened senses compared to ours. They are more sensitive to noises, lights, and smells, which means the Fourth isn’t a day of celebration for them, but rather a day of terror.

When some pets become overwhelmed by the day’s festivities, they may escape out a door or window or run away in attempt to keep themselves safe.

Once they’re lost, their odds of being returned safely can be slim. On average, 14 percent of lost pets are returned to owners. Of those who aren’t reunited with their families, as many 30 to 60 percent are euthanized.

Obviously the numbers show that there’s no reason to risk your pet’s safety around the Fourth.

There are many things you can do to keep your cat safe on the Fourth – you may even come up with a few other ways to help keep her safe.

For some, that may mean keeping your cats safely confined indoors for a few days before and after the Fourth. Folks (at least in my neighborhood) rarely confine their festivities to one day, so it may be best to wait it out.

Photo courtesy inkknife_2000.

Similarly, it may be a good idea to practice some of those tips in the link above a few days before and after the Fourth, too. For example, we may consider putting on our air conditioning for a few extra days just so our windows are closed – in an attempt to drown out noise.

If you know from previous years that your cat really stresses out from hearing fireworks or other noises, you have a few options, too. Chat with your veterinarian to see if he can recommend any medications or techniques that may help. It may mean spending the night in your basement, or even going on an overnight trip to an area where there are less frightening festivities going on.

And, as always, make sure your cat can easily be returned to you. If your cat goes outside often, this may mean that she wears a collar with current contact information. If your cat doesn’t go outside, I highly recommend having her microchipped with your current information on file with the chip company. If your cat does end up at a shelter, they will check her to see if she’s chipped.

While we certainly hope your pet stays safe this holiday, if an escape does occur, check out these best practices to find a lost cat.

Are you doing anything this year to make your cat more comfortable this Fourth? Do you have any best practices that you enact around this time of year to make sure your cat stays safe? Please share in the comments!

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