As we celebrate Independence Day, it’s important to remember that the fireworks shows we enjoy can also frighten pets and cause them to run away.
The Humane Society of Central Oregon reminds pet owners that frightened pets can get disoriented. Veterinary clinics report an increase in injuries caused by dogs hit by cars as they are running away.
The Humane Society also has these tips for pet safety on the Fourth and if you are taking them to the Pet Parade in Bend.
Fireworks safety tips
- Current identification tags on your pet(s) ensures a safe and quick return. Immediately report lost and found animals to the Humane Society of Central Oregon at 541.382.3537.
- Keep your pet(s) inside the home in a safe area or in a crate. Leave music or a television playing if left alone. Your companionship helps keep them calm.
- Consider getting away from the fireworks to a quiet area in the mountains or desert.
- If your dog or cat is extremely fearful, consult your veterinarian before the fireworks begins.
- Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a tether. Dogs may chew through their tether, escape and become lost or become entangled in the tie-out, putting your dog at risk of injury or death.
- Do not take your pet to fireworks displays. The noise, sights and sounds are frightening.
- Keep pets away from all fireworks to prevent burns, hearing loss or eye damage. Safely dispose of spent fireworks. If eaten, they may cause digestive problems.
- Resist the urge to take your dog to Fourth of July celebrations where it will be too hot to leave your dog in the car and your dog may not be welcome.
- 4th of July gatherings can be stressful for a pet. Doors and gates left open allow pets to escape.
- If you plan to go away for the weekend, identify your animal(s) with the phone number of the pet sitter or kennel. Make sure a pet sitter reports and reclaims your pet immediately at the Humane Society if lost.
- Keep your veterinarian’s and the emergency clinic’s phone numbers handy in case of an emergency.
- Immediately report lost and found animals to your local Humane Society. Visit the animal shelter and view stray pets at the Bend shelter on-line at www.hsco.org. Shelter space is limited during this busy holiday, so quickly reclaim your pet.
Pet Parade safety tips
- Before and after the parade, find a cool, shaded place to rest.
- Do not arrive too early: staging begins at 9:00 am; the parade starts at 10:00 am.
- Bring plenty of cool water for you and your pet. Water will be available at parade staging area and HSCO will provide water en route – just look for the orange flags.
- Allow dogs to cool off in the water pools at the staging area.
- Get creative and place your pet in a shaded, decorated stroller or wagon to keep them off of the hot asphalt.
- Watch for signs of your pet’s paw pads overheating or soreness – picking-up paws, seeking shade and avoiding walking by sitting or lying down.
- Do not leave your pet in the car, not even for a few minutes.
- Learn to recognize the signs of heat stroke: Faster, heavier panting; excessive thirst and/or drooling with hanging strands of saliva; whining or signs of agitation; decreased responsiveness; glassy eyes; increased pulse/ heartbeat; elevated body temperature and staggering, weakness, collapse, seizures and/or unconsciousness.
- If your pet shows heat-related symptoms, immediately go to a shaded area or a dog-friendly business that may let your dog cool in the air conditioned store so you can assess your pet’s condition.
- If you think your pet will be challenged by warm temperatures, BPRD and the Humane Society of Central Oregon encourage you to leave your pet at home.
- Should you need any emergency veterinary services over the holiday weekend, there are two emergency animal clinics in Bend, Bend Animal Emergency Center and Specialty Center (541 385-9110) and Veterinary Referral Center (541 210-9200) or call your veterinarian.
For additional information on the Pet Parade, visit www.bendparksandrec.org.