BEND, OR -- Fourth of July can be fun and exciting for families, but it’s often stressful for pets. Loud noises associated with fireworks can cause dogs to run away from home, so it’s important to make sure their license and tags are up to date. "Make sure you have a microchip identification, as well," Says Lynne Ouchida, with the Humane Society of Central Oregon. "Fourth of July, surrounding it – three days out and five days following the fourth – are our busiest days at the Humane Society."
She tells KBND News, "All the neighborhood fireworks are going to start; I’ve heard they’re going off in some areas already. This weekend is probably going to be bad, that’s when dogs start getting scared." But, she says there are things you can do to prepare your animals. "Especially if you have a new dog that hasn’t experienced Fourth of July, make sure you make it a fun, positive experience. Start training them to not be afraid, expose them slowly, play ball with them, give them treats; but absolutely critical is check for identification."
Ouchida suggests leaving pets inside your home, in a safe area or crate, so they can’t escape if frightened by fireworks. "It’s best, seriously, just not to even take your dog with you to these celebrations. You may enjoy the people, and the chaos, and the kids running around and screaming, and the pool parties and yard games. But, more than likely, it’s probably pretty stressful for your dog." And, of course, never leave them in a hot car.
Medication can help keep dogs and cats calm during stressful holidays, but she suggests talking to your vet now to test out the right formula. And, the Humane Society rents out portable crates for those who need a safe space to keep pets for the weekend.