More pets are lost during the Fourth of July weekend than any other time of the year, according to a national lost pet recovery website.
PetAmberAlert reported animal control services see a 30 percent increase in lost animals from July 4 to 6—including pet dogs, cats, and birds.
Noise from fireworks, whether at home or from local firework displays, can cause anxiety and overwhelm the senses of house pets, which tends to make them run away to attempt to find safety.
"And worse, 30-60% of lost pets are euthanized because they cannot be properly identified and returned to their owners," he said in a statement.
The website released an infographic warning pet owners to ensure their pets are safe and prevent anxiety and fear. It provided five tips, including keeping animals indoors in a secure place and suppressing loud noises.
Keeping pets inside with the windows closed can block out a lot of the sound and reduce the risk of escaping. If possible, animals should not be left alone during loud, explosive firework displays.
Pets can be given access to their crates or other safe spaces in the home to help reduce anxiety, while feeding them treats could increase comfort and reassure the pets.
Excessive noises from TVs or radios can also add to the already overwhelming noises coming from outdoor fireworks. Turning these devices down might help.
Acting calm around pets—talking to them positively and continuing normal activities—can help reassure them. According to PetAmberAlert, pets take cues from their owners, and so when the owner is confident and unafraid, their pets will follow their behavior.
Lastly, devices such as ID tags, GPS trackers, and microchips can help locate lost pets and bring them home safely if they do run away. For residents who find lost animals, local veterinarian clinics can quickly scan lost pets for free to check for devices and help find the pet’s owners.
Most firework displays don’t allow pets, so those that are left at home need extra care to remain safe this holiday. Check your local firework displays to see if your pet is allowed to join the celebration.
Pet owners who follow these precautions may be more likely to enjoy their traditional Independence Day celebrations without the grief of losing their beloved pets.