Shelter offers Fireworks pet safety

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(This story by Zack Steen originally appeared in the Daily Corinthian and is appearing here with permission.)

Fireworks can be a pet’s worst nightmare.

Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter Volunteer Director Charlotte Doehner said July 4 is one of the most dangerous pet holidays, and pet owners shouldn’t take it lightly.

“The shelter always has an increase of lost and found pets following holidays that involve fireworks,” said Doehner. “The loud noises and flashing lights brought on by fireworks frighten pets, causing them to run away.”

According to national statistics, animal control officials see a 30 percent increase in lost pets between July 4 and 6, with July 5 being one of the busiest days for shelters across the country.

“If your pet has a fear of loud noises, something as simple as turning on some soft music and moving your pet into an interior room with no windows can be helpful,” said Doehner. “Keeping them indoors during the height of the fireworks is always a good idea.”

The ASPCA recommends an anxiety vest for pets who are easily frightend by load noises. For those fur-parents who not do have a vest, they can try fitting their pet with a snugly fitting t-shirt.

While noise phobias are not as common in cats, they can and do happen. Fortunately, cats tend to hide when frightened. Checking in on your cats, having some quiet music on and keeping them indoors is a good idea, said ASPCA.

Another holiday danger can be found in the trash.

“Some dogs will eat anything, regardless of how it tastes, including fireworks,” said Doehner.

Fireworks contain several types of chemicals and heavy metals. If you set off fireworks at home, make sure you thoroughly clean up the area before letting your dog have access to it.

Doehner said regardless pets should not be allowed or bought near a firework show or display.

“If your dog or other pet is afraid of fireworks, they might do anything to escape, so bringing them to a display could be a potential risk,” she said. “Keeping them indoors is the best way to keep them safe.”

(For more information on the Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter, visit alcornpets.com or contact 662-284-5800.)