July 5th is considered to be the busiest time of the year for the ASPCA and animal shelters. This is due to animals, like cats and dogs, that panic and run away from the loud and sudden noises, such as fireworks or raucous parties, from the celebrations around Independence Day.

Practice Manager for Triangle Veterinary Referral Hospital, Sharon Zeigler, provides several reminders for pet owners to make sure their pets stay safe and calm during the many events of the Fourth of July.

“If you are going to watch a fireworks show, please don’t take your pets with you,” says Zeigler. “If you know your pets are stressed by loud noises, we recommend that you keep them inside, that you provide background noise, whether that’s a radio or a television. If you are holding a party, we recommend that you restrain your pets in a particular closed room.”

The hospital also reminds that pet owners keep their pets away from dangerous items like matches, lighter fluid, fireworks, and alcohol, and if your animal requires any form of anxiety medication, speak with your vet beforehand, as certain kinds may increase animals’ sensitivity to loud sounds.

Zeigler says she strongly encourages that if there is any risk a pet could escape to make sure that the animal is wearing proper identification tags at all times.

“We always recommend that pets have some form of identification on them,” says Zeigler, “a collar with identification or a microchip that has been registered. Those are always very important, not just on holidays, but always important to help find lost pets.”

The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy reports that following July 5th, about 15% to 20% of dogs and less than 2% of cats that find themselves left in shelters are ever reunited with their families.

For more information, you can contact the Triangle Veterinary Referral Hospital at 919-489-0615.