Saturday, July 21 , 2018, 2:22 pm | A Few Clouds 72º


Fireworks Can Be Rough on Dogs; Follow Some Tips to Keep Pets Calm

With the July 4 holiday less than a week away, Santa Barbara County Animal Services reminds pet owners that many domestic animals are frightened by fireworks. Each year, hundreds of animals are lost as a result of noise related to Independence Day celebrations.

Animal Services wants pet owners to take precautions prior to the festivities to ensure a happy and safe celebration for all.

» Make sure your dog is wearing a current license tag and update microchip information. A license tag is your dog’s ticket home. Animal Services will be quickly reuniting lost animals with their family if the animal is wearing a license or is microchipped and information is current,

Animal Services provides free lifetime microchip information for pets that have already been microchipped. If your animal is not microchipped, Animal Services offers microchips for $30 which includes lifetime registration.

Microchips can be placed 2-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 2-3:30 p.m. Saturdays without appointment until Tuesday, July 3. Remember to tag your cat, too.

» Keep pets inside. Bring indoor/outdoor cats and dogs inside. Set up a quiet spot in a windowless room, if possible, or keep them in a carrier or kennel. Even if you think your yard is secure, a frightened dog will find a way to escape and a tied up dog may hurt itself trying to get away.

» Leave the TV or radio on to distract pets. Soothing noise may help keep pets calm.

» Walk your dog before the fireworks start. Tiring out your dog with a long walk or game of fetch can help them relax and stay calm through the noise.

» Do not bring your pet to a fireworks display. For their safety and the safety of others, please leave your pet(s) at home.

» If your dog or cat is especially noise sensitive, consider having someone stay home with them, taking them to a boarding facility, or discuss sedatives with your veterinarian.

» Keep your dogs crated, to ensure they stay safe and home. Provide them with activities, like dog toys, to pass the time,and leave a radio on low. You can even cover the crate to provide more security.

If you do not have a crate, you may borrow one from your local Santa Barbara County Animal Services Shelter by providing a copy of your photo ID.

If, after taking all precautions, your cat or dog runs away, visit your county Animal Services Shelter in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria or Lompoc. County Animal Services shelters will be closed on Wednesday, July 4. All three sites will resume normal business hours at 9 a.m. July 5.

If your dog or cat is not at the shelter, be keep checking back; it may take several days for them to arrive.

To help locate your pet, you can post flyers in your neighborhood with a current photo of your pet and a phone number where you can be reached, use social media, and place a lost pet ad in a local paper.

For more information on lost pets, contact a local shelter:
La PAWS in Lompoc, 805-737-7755
Santa Maria Animal Center, 805-934-6119
Santa Barbara Shelter, 805-681-5285.

— Stacy Silva for County Animal Services.


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