With Memorial Day just around the corner, pet owners should be prepared for fireworks to be a part of many celebrations in every neighborhood. Although the bright flashes and loud bangs that accompany the colorful displays are typically enjoyed by humans, our pets can often become extremely scared. Animal Humane New Mexico urges pet owners to take precautions to protect their pups this holiday.
“The day after Memorial Day is one of our highest intake days due to all the pets who were so frightened by fireworks that they escaped from their homes,” says Executive Director Peggy Weigle. “We recommend keeping your dogs and cats indoors as much as possible and keep your windows shut to minimize its potential distress.”
Under stressful situations involving low-frequency, percussive noises like fireworks, your ordinarily well behaved pet may become unpredictable due to extreme fear. Every year, many frightened dogs become lost during holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July; Animal Humane New Mexico offers tips for pet owners to ensure that their pets are safe, secure and comfortable this weekend.
Never use fireworks around pets. Exposing your curious pet to active fireworks puts him or her at risk of severe burns or trauma to the face and paws. Unlit fireworks are dangerous as well, an dmay contain toxic substances.
Keep all pets safely indoors when fireworks are set off. Resist the urge to take your furry friend to a crowded gathering. It’s best to leave your pet safely indoors with a radio, TV, or other white noise to help dull jarring sounds.
Ensure your pet has proper ID. Collars and ID tags are important year-round, and frightened indoor animals can take desperate measures to escape the noise, even breaking through windows or screen doors. Using a variety of identification methods, including microchips, will help get a lost pet home safely. If your pet is not microchipped, you can visit Animal Humane New Mexico’s Vaccination Clinic on the first Friday of every month (8 – 11 am).
Create a safe place. Give your pet access to places it goes when frightened. Consider using a fan or radio near the spot to help block out the sound.
Distract your pet. When your pet becomes anxious, help by engaging in activities he or she enjoys. Play fetch in an enclosed, escape-proof area, or practice familiar commands. Reward your pet with praise and treats.
Help a lost pet find its home. Take the animal to a veterinary clinic or animal shelter to have it scanned for a microchip. If the pet has a microchip implanted, the owners can often be contacted immediately and reunited with their pet that same day! If the pet is not microchipped, upload the pet's information to our Lost & Found Database (https://animalhumanenm.org/pets/db/) and report a found pet with the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department.
By taking these precautions, our community can reduce the number of pets who become lost this holiday weekend, and improve the speed with which shelters can reunite lost pets with their families.