Fourth of July fireworks pose escape risk for pets

Fourth of July fireworks pose escape risk for pets
Published: Jul. 3, 2014 at 10:02 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 3, 2014 at 11:00 PM EDT
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The 4th of July and fireworks go hand and hand, but the bright lights and sounds can cause anxiety in our four legged friends.

That's why its no surprise more animals run away from home on the 4th than any other day of the year.

Three-year-old Lennox is not only curious but anxious of everything. His owner, Kaylin Victory, noticed something was wrong when Lennox was only one year old after he darted during a thunderstorm.

Since then Kaylin is always cautious during the 4th of July holiday.

"We would hug him and comfort him and it did not help he would want to be on top of me in my lap if I walked out of the room he would be right there," Victory said.

Dr. Sally Lanford with Bees Ferry Veterinary Hospital says anxiety in pets is very common and being prepared is the key.

Even if you don't think your pet would dart from fireworks you don't want to take any chances.

"Sometimes were not prepared for fireworks going off and we live in an area where there are not many fireworks or my dog does not have any anxiety they let their pet out and a firework goes off and the animal panics and disappears," Lanford said.

Dr. Lanford says there are some simple things you can do calm your nervous pet.

First, keep them in the house as much as possible on and around the 4th ofJulyy.

When you do take them outside, take them on a leash so you have control and they cannot get away from you.

Lanford also says it's important to invest in having your pet micro-chipped with your information so if they ever come up missing, their chip can be scanned and they can be returned home.

"If your pet has a place they feel safe like a crate or even turning up your tv or radio kind of loud can also drown out the fireworks," Lanford said.

The Thundershirt can come in handy for mild anxiety in a pet. The Thundershirt is a brand-name garment designed to wrap around the pet's body and push on pressure points to calm it.

You can also buy a natural pheromone collar or a plug-in that will release a calming scent. If needed, your pet can also be prescribed medication.

"The highest number of animals go missing on the 4th of July and that means the 5th of July is the biggest day of the year people are looking for their pets and animals showing up at shelters and hospitals," Lanford said.

If your pet does come up missing, Lanford says your best bet is to first turn to social media.

Posting a picture and information on Facebook, Craigslist and Twitter can make a big difference.

It's also helpful to post flyers in addition to contacting your local animal shelters, vet offices and your neighbors.

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