ABILENE, Texas - Celebrating the Fourth of July usually involves fireworks.
Whether you're taking your pet to a public show with major explosions or you're putting on a display of your own, there are some things you need to know to keep our four-legged counterparts smiling this year.
Aaron Vannoy, the city of Abilene's animal services manager, shared some tips for how to prepare your pets for the big day.
The sights and sounds of the upcoming Fourth of July celebrations are enjoyable for people, but the commotion of some Independence Day events can confuse animals, make them nervous and even cause them to run away or place themselves in harmful situations, Vannoy said.
Listed below are tips to help keep your animals safe over the Fourth of July holiday:
1. Keep pets indoors and away from crowds so that they feel more protected.
2. Animals that are already crate trained may feel safest in their crate.
3. Consider boarding your animals in a safe place away from the holiday festivities. If you plan to travel during this time, boarding your animal might be a better option than leaving the animal at home.
4. Your veterinarian may choose to prescribe a sedative for your animal if it tends to become easily spooked by the fireworks. Remember that your animal must be seen by a veterinarian in order to receive any prescribed medications.
5. If you have horses, be sure to keep them inside barns or corralled and away from the sound of fireworks.
6. Place and identification tag on your animal or have your animal microchipped and registered.
If your pet becomes lost:
1. Check the neighborhood or area where the pet became lost, as pets have been known to be found close to home even several days later. Put up signs with your pet's photo and your phone number.
2. Contact your microchip registration company. Once notified, they may activate a lost pet recovery network or place your lost pet on a "hot sheet."
3. Contact your veterinarian. If your pet is wearing a rabies tag, the number on the tag can be traced to your veterinarian.
4. Contact City of Abilene Animal Services at 325-698-0085 or visit www.abilenetx.com/animal to view pictures of all animals that have been brought to the Abilene Animal Shelter located at 925 S. 25th St. If possible, visit the shelter daily to see if your pet has been brought in. If an animal is wearing an identification tag with contact information, Animal Services staff will attempt to notify the owner.
5. Place a lost pet ad in your local newspaper or online, and check daily in "found pet" ads.
If you have concerns or questions about helping your animal to make it safely through the Fourth of July holiday, please consult your veterinarian.