Fourth of July safety tips for pets

To minimize stress caused by fireworks and reduce the risk of your animal becoming lost during the Independence Day celebrations, Lynnwood’s Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) offer the following safety tips:

Keep them indoors. This is the safest place for all of your companion animals. Being indoors helps avoid accidental injuries caused by fireworks, encounters with people who may torment animals by shooting fireworks into the yard, and reduces the risk of your pet becoming lost.

Make sure they are wearing their collar, license and I.D. tag. Consider permanent identification by having your companion animal microchipped by your veterinarian and registered on a national database.

Provide them with a “safety spot” in the house. Try to choose their favorite room or where they normally sleep inside the house. Add comforting toys and bedding to the room. Give your dog a favorite chew toy to help reduce their anxiety and catnip or a favorite toy for your cat. Turn on a radio to a medium sound level to provide some background noise, as this can minimize how much they will hear the fireworks outside.

If your companion animal suffers from noise anxiety, talk to your veterinarian about anxiety- reducing medication.

Stay with your animal as much as possible. This will reduce the risk of self-inflicted injury caused by animals trying to escape the noise and sudden bright light caused by fireworks.

If your dog or cat gets lost

Check PAWS and other area shelters that day and at least every other day until you find them.

  • File a lost report at the shelters, post flyers in your neighborhood and check local veterinary clinics in case they’ve been injured and brought in by a neighbor.
  • Check for specific strategies on how to find lost cats and dogs.
  • Have pictures of your animal to help you during the search.
  • Don’t give up. Since fireworks celebrations will continue for days, many animals who are hiding will not turn up right away, so keep looking — they’re counting on you to find them.

Wild animals

Wild animals are negatively affected by fireworks as well. “These special creatures, with whom we share our urban environment, are extremely frightened by loud noises and bright flashes,” PAWS said. “Please keep them in mind this holiday weekend and use fireworks with discretion.”

If you find an injured or orphaned wild animal, call PAWS at 425-412-4040.

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