This is a big week for vacations, barbecues, fireworks and scared pets. Owners being gone, big parties in the yard and booming pyrotechnics in the sky are all recipes for high anxiety in our animals.
As residents begin planning their Fourth of July celebrations, the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter is putting out a plea asking that animals be kept in mind, as there is often an increase of lost pets following the Fourth of July. Festivities for the holiday often include fireworks and other commotion, which can be stressful to pets or result in them getting lost.
Whether you’re traveling and leaving your pets behind or enjoying a backyard party, for the safety and protection of pets, SJRAS joins the Humane Society of the United States in recommending the following:
- Leave pets at home and inside. Fireworks can be terrifying to pets, even pets who are accustomed to being around crowds and commotion.
- Create a home sanctuary. Leave your pet in an area of your home where he or she is safe, comfortable and sheltered from any outside noise and lights. An interior room without immediate access to the outside is preferred. Playing a radio with relaxing music may help mask the sound of fireworks.
- Pet-proof your home. When scared, some animals may become destructive so be sure to remove anything from reach that can become damaged or may harm the pet if chewed or eaten.
- Identification is essential. Pets may panic, escape and become lost. Updated identification is critical to ensuring lost pets are reunited with their families. Ideal identification is both a tag and microchip (make sure your chip is registered on a site such as www.petmicrochiplookup.org).
- Consult a veterinarian for pets with anxiety. Consult your veterinarian to seek out remedies to lower your pet’s stress level if this is a known issue.
- If you are leaving your pets at home with a sitter, it is essential that you advise your pet sitter to take these precautions as well. The shelter regularly receives stray animals that have escaped during their owner’s vacations and the added stress of fireworks or storms often contributes to them taking flight.
On another note, PLEASE make sure your pets are up to date on their vaccines. We are seeing dogs with the parvovirus from all over the region. Last week, Millville alone had three infected pups from the downtown area; one was found dead and the other two were too far advanced to be saved. The cat population is suffering even more from the feline version of the parvovirus known as panleukopenia. This virus is highly contagious, very deadly and often not detected until it is too late for a successful recovery.
Happy 4th of July!