SAN ANTONIO – The Fourth of July holiday means food, fireworks and fun for many people, but the same activities that humans love could be overwhelming and even life-threatening to pets.
Animal Care Services is reminding pet owners to plan ahead and take some precautions. They offered the following advice for protecting pets on the Fourth.
« Pets don’t like loud noises. Some area towns are still scheduled to hold official fireworks displays but these events are no place for pets. Leave them at home in a secured, quiet area where they will be safe.
« A collar and microchip ID can help your pet get back home if they get lost. Roaming animals stand the risk of being picked up by the city’s Animal Care Officers. Your pet’s registered microchip ID is more than their ticket home-Microchips are the law in San Antonio and City residents can get this safe, permanent form of identification for their pet for FREE anytime during regular business hours at ACS. For more information, check out www.saacs.net. No appointments are needed for microchipping.
« Don’t leave pets unattended outside, even in a fenced yard. Pets can overreact when they’re scared and that dog who would never leave your yard before could easily dig a hole under the fence to escape the noise. Fear of the fireworks and outside gatherings can also cause your pet to become entangled in their tether.
« Never leave your pet in the car while you enjoy the party. The South Texas heat can kill. It takes only minutes for the temperature in your car to soar over 120 degrees. Pets left in cars, even with a cracked window, can quickly become stressed by the heat. Please don’t risk your pet’s life. Leave your pet at home.
« People food for people, please. This one can be tough, especially when they’re looking at you with those eyes. If you’re going to give your dog some scraps, stay away from bones and try to keep it to a minimum. A good dog friendly choice you might have at your Independence Day party? Watermelon! Just remove the seeds and rind. Alcohol can be fatal to a dog and should never be given to any animal.
« Watch the BBQ pit. If it smells good to you, imagine what it smells like to your dog. Some smaller pits can be knocked over by a dog. Plus a hungry pup can get sneaky and you don’t want to miss the fireworks taking Rover to the ER because he ate five chicken kabobs, including the skewers.
« Give your pet some peace and quiet. A closed off area inside your home can be a blessing for a nervous pet. Some pets get destructive when they’re frightened so be sure to remove anything your pet could destroy. Provide some toys to occupy your pet’s time. If your pet is crate trained, make sure they can curl up inside. Fresh food and water are a must and a treat or two wouldn’t hurt either!
« Protect your pet from pranksters. Some animal cruelty cases start out as what some consider “harmless pranks.” But there’s nothing harmless (or legal) about shooting fireworks at a pet. Bring outdoor pets indoors, at least for the evening. ACS will investigate anyone suspected of cruelly treating any animal.
« When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. Your vet and local pet stores have a variety of remedies available to soothe your pet’s nerves and set your mind at ease.
Animal Care Services will be closed on July 4th, but animal care officers will be on duty. Residents can still call 311 for questions and service requests.