As we all get ready to celebrate Independence Day, many shelters are bracing for a major influx of lost pets. According to the Dumb Friends League, the number of lost pets brought into its shelters on July 5 nearly doubles. On an average day, the Dumb Friends League receives approximately 26 lost pets between its two shelters the League received 66 lost pets. A similar increase is expected this year.
“The loud noise of fireworks often frightens pets and causes them to run away,” said Bob Rohde, president and CEO of the Dumb Friends League. “We strongly encourage all pet owners who are missing their pet or pets to visit all area shelters immediately.”
To help calm their anxiety, if you can put them in the basement away from the noise that help, it’s also the time to get out the Thundershirt. Our dog really is bothered by the fireworks so we have invested in this. In our neighborhood people shoot off fireworks at different times of the year like the Super Bowl and New Year’s Eve and sometimes it helps during bad thunderstorms that bring hail.
The patented ThunderShirt design applies gentle, constant pressure to calm anxiety, fear, and over-excitement. Calms during fireworks, thunder, separation, travel, vet visits, and much more with no training and no medication so your dog stays drug-free. I’ve heard this is great for rescue dogs while you are transporting them and introducing them to their new home. There are ThunderShirts for cats as well
The Dumb Friends League, in conjunction with the Metro Denver Shelter Alliance, offers the following advice for pet owners looking for their pet:
- Don’t assume your cat or dog will find its way home. Visit or call all area shelters as soon as possible.
- File a lost report and give a photo to each of these shelters in case someone brings in your pet.
- Look around your neighborhood and post fliers with your pet’s photo and your contact information, if your neighborhood allows it.
- Most importantly, act fast and don’t give up.
- To increase your chances of being reunited with your pet in the future, make sure your cat or dog is wearing a collar with current ID tags at all times, and consider getting a microchip ID implant for your pet from your veterinarian.
This list of things to do to prepare your pets for fireworks is from Missing Mutt Detectives in Douglas County Colorado.
- Make sure they have a safe, secure place to be.
- Leave a fan or the tv on to drown out some of the sounds. Remember that their hearing is much better than ours. To a dog, a firework down the street is like a gunshot next to your head.
- Check your gates to make sure they are secure, a lock on a gate is best. Please don’t leave your dog in your yard and leave for the evening. We’ve seen this go terribly wrong even with dogs who are typically fine in the yard.
- Check to make sure that your animals are chipped and that their chip is up to date. Petsmart, vets, etc. can scan your pet to check for a chip and you can go online to update your information with the chip company. Don’t assume that it’s up to date or that just because the vet chipped them that it’s registered to you. Please double check.
- If you are taking your dog with you make sure you have a good, strong leash on your dog. A dog may be fine with fireworks one year and completely terrified the next.
- If your dog/pet gets loose we have a list of things to do to help you get your pet home. We strongly believe in and stand by this list.
- Time is of the essence. Don’t wait to get started on the list. I will add it to the comments of this post as well. Reach out if you have questions!
- If you see a lost pet, please don’t chase them. Our article on skittish dogs is here. Get low to the ground, speak in a happy but calm voice and try to lure them to you with treats. If you aren’t able to do that please try to snap a picture and post it to social media immediately.