The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and that means more and more families across will be enjoying the spectacle of fireworks, whether it's the show in Iron Mountain, or the small sparklers and candles that light up neighborhoods every year.
But these pyrotechnics can be very frightening for our four-legged friends, who are able to do some pretty remarkable and potentially dangerous things to try and escape the loud noises and bright lights.
The Michigan Humane Society is reminding pet owners to keep their pets safe this holiday season by ensuring they are well-secured, have up-to-date identification and license tags, and are microchipped.
The number of lost pets arriving at animal shelters and humane organizations increases sharply around the Fourth of July holiday.
Unfortunately, this is just a small percentage of the hundreds of stray animals that adoption centers receive every year, most of whom lack any sort of identification.
Without ID, the chance that these pets will be reunited with their families is less than 10 percent.
The Michigan Humane Society strongly recommends that pets have both visible ID tags and a microchip.
Microchipping is a safe, permanent and unalterable way for your pet to be identified at veterinary centers and animal shelters around the country.
For those pets who do go missing, the Michigan Humane Society offers an online tool called the ePole, which acts as a virtual telephone pole for public use, allowing those who lose a pet - as well as those who find a missing pet - to post the pet's vital information and get in contact with others, 24 hours a day.
The service is free to use, providing residents with a means to upload photos of the missing pet, post descriptions of the animal, and share the location where the animal was last seen or found. The ePole can be found online at www.michiganhumane.org/lost.
Local media outlets, including The Daily News, also offer free Lost & Found notices.
The Michigan Humane Society also recommends the following tips to keep pets safe during Independence Day festivities:
- Keep pets inside and secure. Frightened animals may jump tall fences, bolt out gates or run through screens during fireworks displays in order to "escape."
- Resist the urge to take dogs to firework displays and parades. Even those who are normally unflappable may be frightened by sudden, loud noises and may run off.
- If you know your pet is afraid of loud noises, confine him in a safe, quiet room with their favorite toy and comfortable bedding.
- If your dog shows signs of distress, give him a peanut butter-stuffed toy to help distract him and calm his nerves. Playing soft music may also help relieve the animal's stress.
- The holiday is often accompanied by hot weather. Prevent heat exhaustion by keeping pets inside in a cool area during the heat of the day, with plenty of fresh, cool water.