While everyone is celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks and family, it’s important to remember the furry members of the family. In keeping pets safe, Dr. Alison Moore of Meridian Animal Care Center said security is key. “Keep them at home, keep them inside. If you have a crate, I would recommend putting them inside a crate just so they don’t tear up blinds or tear up windows. If not, another thing you can do is put them in a small room,” said Dr. Moore.
Another way, she says, is simply by playing with them. “If you’re home during the fireworks, go ahead and play with them. Try to throw the balls and other toys they have around. If you need medication, you need to see your veterinarian because with some of these animals, it just stresses them out,” said Dr. Moore. “We do have medications we can put them on that will help them sleep through the whole procedure.”
She said animals often initiate their “fight or flight” response upon hearing fireworks, which can cause then to run and hide if they’re not properly secured. “Animals are not raised around those types of episodes. So, when that happens, it’s just completely out of their norm. Because of this, they retreat into a fearful mode,” said Dr. Moore.
She’s a major advocate for micro-chipping and says it’s a great way to locate animals who have disappeared during July 4th or at any other time. However, during July 4th and New Year’s, an increase in missing pets occurs. “There’s a definite spike in animals disappearing during the times of July the 4th and New Year’s, so, at those times, you really need to make sure you don’t just have them out in a fence,” said Dr. Moore. “Animals can climb the fence and cats will run off and climb trees. So, have them in a confined area so that once the fireworks are over, then they can relax and know that, ‘hey, I’m safe, and I’m not stressed anymore.” Meridian Animal Care Center is located at 5010A Poplar Springs Dr. and can be contacted at 601-693-3940. She also owns Riverbirch Animal Care Center, and it’s located on 2319 MS-19. They can be reached at 601-482-3215.