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Keeping your pets safe on Fourth of July

Dozens of dogs dressed in bright colors marched through Downtown Portland Sunday, June 19 for the 2016 Portland Pride Parade. (Photo by Tristan Fortsch)

Pet owners should know to be extra vigilant this weekend for Fourth of July festivities.

DoveLewis Animal Hospital officials say they see a significant increase in the number of patients treated this weekend.

To prevent injuries, keep your pets inside and in a cool place if they're left at home. If you're out watching fireworks, make sure to keep your dog leashed, and stay away from the origin of fireworks shows.

You should also avoid picking up tennis balls you find on the ground, as they could be homemade explosives used for Fourth of July.

Here's a few more tips from DoveLewis:

KNOW THE HAZARDS

Loud noises from exploding fireworks can be stressful to animals. Pets often jump fences or dig out of yards when they're left outside. DoveLewis veterinarians have also treated panicked pets who jumped through glass windows and door screens, despite being kept inside.

Fireworks are poisonous to pets, and should be kept safely out of reach. Animals can mistake the shiny packaging for food. Additionally, flames from falling fireworks and sparklers can burn pets.

Food at a holiday barbeque or picnic can pose a threat to pets and often lead to unfortunate digestion mishaps.

SAFETY TIPS

Safely secure pets indoors while fireworks are going off. If you have to take your dog outside, make sure to use a leash.

If your pet is extra sensitive to loud noises, do not leave your pet alone for extended periods of time.

Keep all used and unused fireworks away from animals at all times.

Make sure your pet has an updated microchip and is wearing identification tags, so you have a better chance of being reunited in the event that your pet gets lost.

Talk to your veterinarian about whether the use of a mild sedative is appropriate.

Keep your food out of pets' reach and make sure trash bags are tightly secured.

Take him or her on a long walk or run. That way they'll be too tired to panic once the fireworks start.

Give them a nice place to hide, like a kennel. It'll help them comfort themselves.

If they do manage to run off, put out their food bowl, a nice treat and their bed right away. Once they calm down they may come back, especially if they sense a piece of home.


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