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How To Have A Pet-Friendly Fourth Of July

Dogs react differently to outside noise, including fireworks. Some dog owners drown out the noise by playing music, running fans, or a television to keep them calmer. | Dogs And Fireworks Illustration
Ken Ruinard
Dogs react differently to outside noise, including fireworks. Some dog owners drown out the noise by playing music, running fans, or a television to keep them calmer. | Dogs And Fireworks Illustration

The City of San Antonio shared "common sense tips" for residents to ensure furry friends enjoy the upcoming holiday.

"Both dogs and cats can become very frightened by all the noise and commotion we take for granted during gatherings of any sort. Using common sense precautions can help protect you and your pet this holiday," a statement said.

Here are the tips and tricks from the city:

  • Pets don’t like loud noises. Woodlawn Lake will be the site of the official San Antonio Fourth of July celebration this year complete with fireworks in the evening. Although there will be plenty of food and family fun, these events are no place for pets. Leave them at home in a secured, quiet area where they will be safe.
  • A collar and microchip ID can help your pet get back home if they get lost. Roaming animals stand the risk of being picked up by the city’s Animal Care Officers. Your pet’s registered microchip ID is more than their ticket home--Microchips are the law in San Antonio. The address and phone numbers you register with your pet’s microchip should always be kept up to date.
  • Don’t leave pets unattended outside, even in a fenced yard. Pets can overreact when they’re scared and that dog who’d never leave your yard before could easily dig a hole under the fence to escape the noise. Fear of the fireworks and outside gatherings can also cause your pet to become entangled in their tether.
  • Never leave your pet in the car while you enjoy the party. The South Texas heat can kill. It takes only minutes for the temperature in your car to soar over 120 degrees. Pets left in cars, even with a cracked window, can quickly become stressed by the heat. ACS has seen several calls for pets who have been left in vehicles while their families enjoyed local amusement parks and attractions. This is illegal. Please don’t risk your pet’s life. Leave your pet at home.
  • People food for people, please. This one can be tough. Especially when they’re looking at you with those eyes. If you’re going to give your dog some scraps, stay away from bones and try to keep it to a minimum. A good dog friendly choice you might have at your Independence Day party? Watermelon! Just remove the seeds and rind. Alcohol can be fatal to a dog and should never be given to any animal.
  • Watch the BBQ pit. If it smells good to you, imagine what it smells like to your dog. Some smaller pits can be knocked over by a dog. Plus, a hungry pup can get sneaky and you don’t want to deal with taking Rover to the ER because he ate five chicken kabobs, including the skewers.
  • Give your pet some peace and quiet. A closed off area inside your home can be a blessing for a nervous pet. Some pets get destructive when they’re frightened so be sure to remove anything your pet could destroy. Provide some toys to occupy your pet’s time. If your pet is crate trained, make sure they can curl up inside. Fresh food and water are a must and a treat or two wouldn’t hurt either!
  • Protect your pet from pranksters. Some animal cruelty cases start out as what some consider “harmless pranks.” But there’s nothing harmless (or legal) about shooting fireworks at a pet. Bring outdoor pets indoors, at least for the evening. ACS will investigate anyone suspected of cruelly treating any animal.
  • When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. Your vet and local pet stores have a variety of remedies available to soothe your pet’s nerves and set your mind at ease.

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