Tips for keeping pets safe and calm on 4th of July

AM Extra

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With July 4th happening this weekend, your pets are just a couple days away from their own unofficial holiday, National Panic Day.

The Preventive Vet, Dr. J joined AM Extra Wednesday to talk about easy measures to take to ensure your pet’s experience through the pops and booms goes as well as it can possibly go.

Dr. J says: 

1.) Microchips for cats and dogs … every year July 5th is one of the busiest days in animal shelters all across the country

  • Make sure your pets are microchipped — quick and easy process at your vet’s office, may already have been done at shelter if you adopted your pets (check your adoption paperwork or ask your vet to scan)
  • Make sure you’ve registered the microchip — this is an important step that many people sadly overlook, register with the manufacturer of the chip and/or with another registry (like the Found Animals Registry by the Michelson Foundation: https://www.foundanimals.org/microchip-registry/owners/)
  • Make sure your contact info is up-to-date — check on the registry and update if needed

2) Setting up your home and pets for success

  • Make sure doors and windows are closed.
  • Safe, comfortable (interior) room — make sure cats have a clean, accessible litter box in their safe room!
  • White noise, music, TV, fan, a/c — to try and mask the noises.
  • Blinds/curtains closed — to hide the sights/colors of the fireworks.
  • Do walks with dogs earlier in the day.
  • Do good play/training sessions with pets before nightfall — to help tire them out.
  • Give cats and dogs interactive toys/feeding puzzles to distract them during fireworks and build positive associations.
  • Use the medications, supplements, and other calming things you’ve planned (pheromones, anti-anxiety jackets, etc.)

3) In the “moment”

  • It IS ok to snuggle, pet, and calm your pets with fireworks noise aversions. Contrary to what you may have heard, you can’t reinforce their fears and you may just make their world feel a little more secure.

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