Keep Your Furry Friends Safe During Fourth Festivities

 

July 4th safety

Independence Day is known for sun and fun — barbeques, pool parties, and fireworks. But did you know that the 4th of July is a really scary holiday for pets? In fact, more pets go missing on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year! That is because the loud, overwhelming noises and unfamiliar surrounding can be terrifying for dogs and cats.

Here are some safety tips to help you and furry friends to have a happy and safe holiday.

Preparation and Prevention

The best first step to a happy holiday is to be prepared. Fireworks might be fun for you, but the loud noises are terrifying for many animals, especially dogs. While you are celebrating, chances are your dog is panicking.

Be sure that your pets are microchipped and that your contact information is up to date. Make sure your dog is wearing identification information. It is also a good idea to have a current picture of your dog with you. (This should be easy since we know that just like us you all have 500 pix of your pets on your phone!)

If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, make sure that they are chipped and are wearing a break-away collar with identification. Better, yet, keep cats inside on and around Independence Day for their own safety.

 

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For their own safety, keep dogs and cats indoors during cookouts and fireworks. Allow them time to enjoy the great outdoors before the festivities begin.

 

When letting your dogs out, be sure that your yard is fenced securely and/or that your animal has on a proper harness and leash. When frightened, the “fight or flight” instinct takes over, and many dogs take off, attempting to run to safety. Never leave dogs outside unattended, even in a fenced area.

If your pet does go missing, don’t panic. Follow some simple steps to help get him or her home safe. Lost Dogs of America has multiple resources devoted specifically to Fourth of July.

Party Smarts

If you plan to attend some cookouts or parties on the Fourth, it might be a good idea to leave Fido or Fluffy at home. As mentioned above, unfamiliar surroundings, lots of new people, and loud noises can be super scary even for otherwise calm dogs.

Plus, there will be plenty of food and snacks around. While we all want to spoil our pups, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Too many treats and table scraps (often from well-meaning friends and family) can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea. And, many common foods are actually toxic to animals. And, many common foods are actually toxic to animals.].

With so much going on, it can be tough to keep a constant eye on your pooch, which is why sometimes dogs simply wander off. If you have a chill dog who does well at parties, be sure to keep a close eye on them at all times, ensure they have access to fresh water and shade, keep them securely leashed, and make sure they don’t get too many treats!

Home Alone

If you do leave your dog(s) at home, make sure that they are safe and comfortable. Be sure they have plenty of fresh water and AC or fans to keep them cool. Nervous dogs pant and pace so they need be kept well hydrated.

5.14.18 Keep Cool

Be sure your pets have plenty of fresh water and access to shady areas when they are outside. When indoors, fresh water and fans are a must!

Consider leaving the TV or music on to help drown out the scary noises outside. Many people find success with crating their dogs or confining them to a safe, escape-proof room. Be sure your pup has access to their favorite bed or cozy spot. For example, one of my dogs finds solace under our bed, so we let him “hide” there where he is most comfortable when he gets nervous.

There are plenty of herbal calming treats available with natural ingredients such as chamomile and lavender that can help dogs relax during scary times. In extreme cases, talk to your veterinarian about medication or holistic treatment options to help keep your dog or cat calm over the holiday season.

Compression vests, such as the Thundershirt or similar, can also be very helpful for calming anxious or fearful dogs.

Make Your Own Fun

If you have an animal who is especially terrified of firework festivities, consider staying home with your furry friend.

As the saying goes, a tired dog is a good dog, so plan ahead. During the day, take your dog for a nice long walk, go to the park, or have a playdate. Letting your dog(s) run around, play, and romp during the day is a great way to ensure they will be tired later on.

 

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To help your dog relax during fireworks, be sure to exercise them earlier in the day so they can run around and get out some energy. This will ensure they are tired later on in the evening.

 

As the evening approaches, make sure your dog eats dinner and uses the bathroom before the fireworks and festivities begin. If you plan to administer calming medication or treats to your pets, always follow instructions and allow time for them to kick in.

Be sure to keep windows closed (especially if you leave your pooch home alone) since open windows let in more noise and insect screens will NOT contain your pet. Dogs and cats can easily escape from open windows. Turn up the TV or soothing music and snuggle on the couch with your favorite buddy and let them know they are safe.

Although Independence Day is technically only one day a year, people tend to celebrate for a week or so before and after. So be sure that you are adequately prepared to keep your dogs and cats happy and safe during this holiday season.

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5 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

You might be thinking about a special person in your life this month, but February is also a time to think your pets! In addition to Valentine’s Day, we’re also celebrating National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. If you haven’t already, this is a great time to take your pet in to get spayed or neutered. And if you’re wondering whether or not you should, here are five reasons why it’s important.

1. It saves lives!

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Source: Pixabay

According to the Humane Society, between six and eight million animals enter shelters every year. While about half of those will end up getting adopted, the rest are tragically euthanized. It’s clear that pet overpopulation is a big problem! When responsible pet owners spay and neuter their pets, they are working to solve that problem.

2. It’s good for your pet’s health.

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Source: Pixabay

Spaying and neutering can reduce the risk of certain health conditions. For example, spaying female pets before their first litter can help to prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, while neutering your male pets can prevent prostate problems (see ASPCA). This article from USA Today lists spaying and neutering as one of the key factors related to longer life spans in pets.

3. It saves money.

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Source: Pixabay

While some pet owners may shy away from the cost involved in spaying or neutering their pets, it really does save money in the end. If your pet is healthier, you’ll have fewer vet bills. Treating the type of health problems mentioned above can get expensive, so avoiding them is going to be good for your wallet. Caring for litters of puppies and kittens can be also be costly.

Fortunately, there are lost cost spay and neuter programs all over the country. Check out this Humane Society page for an easy provider search as well as some suggestions for what to do if you can’t find an affordable option in your area.

4. It can prevent bad behavior.

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Source: Pixabay

Some unsavory pet habits are less often seen in spayed or neutered pets. These include the tendency to mark territory by spraying urine all over, mounting other pets or people, roaming, and aggression (see ASPCA). Of course, spaying or neutering won’t completely solve all of these problems, but it can go a long way toward preventing them.

5. It’s good for your community.

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Source: Pixabay

Pet overpopulation isn’t just bad for the pets who end up getting euthanized, according to this WebMD article. It’s also bad for the community. Stray animals living on the streets can cause all sorts of problems, from property damage to car accidents. Seeing that your pets are spayed or neutered helps reduce the number of animals that wind up as strays.

Show your love for your pets, your community, and domestic animals everywhere by spaying or neutering your pets this month!

What Are Pets Good For? 5 Reasons to Adopt a Pet.

The 2015-2016 APPA survey indicates that 65% of U.S. households include a pet. Ever wonder what all the fuss is about? Whether you’re seriously considering getting a pet, or just curious about why so many people do, here are 5 reasons that explain exactly what pets are good for.

1. Pets are good for your heart.

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Source: Unsplash

Really, they are! According to the CDC, owning a pet can result in lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Why? Probably because pets tend to have a calming effect on their owners, helping to combat stress, and because pets can help you stay more active. If you want to know more, check out this article from Harvard Healthy Publications.

2. Pets are good for helping you lose weight.

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Source: Pexels

You wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds, but you know you don’t exercise enough. Sound familiar? Owning a pet, especially a dog, can be a great motivation to get up, get outside, and get moving. This article from Weight Watchers notes a study that showed participants who walked as little as 20 minutes a day, five times a week, lost an average of 14 pounds!

3. Pets are good for your social life.

Want to be more social? Pet ownership not only gives you an instant animal pal, but can help you make more human friends as well. For example, one study found that pet owners were 60% more likely to get to know people in their neighborhood! Just taking your dog for a walk can be a great way to meet new people and any kind of pet gives you an instant conversation starter.

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Source: Pixabay

4. Pets are good for your mental health.

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Source: Unsplash

If you ever feel stressed out, anxious, depressed, or lonely, having a pet can help to relieve these negative emotions and improve your overall mental health. Partially, for all the reasons listed above, like getting outside and being more active, but also because of the hormone oxytocin.

Oxytocin is released during physical contact and plays a big role in human relationships, causing us to feel more relaxed, trusting, and psychologically stable (PyschCentral). But did you know that interacting with your pet can also increase your oxytocin levels? For more on the psychological benefits of pet ownership, check out this Psychology Today article or this one from Huffington Post.

5. Pets are good for your children.

Have your kids been begging for a pet? There are plenty of reasons to give in. Not only can your children enjoy all the above benefits, but there is research that indicates having pets in the home actually reduces your child’s risk of developing some types of allergies. Is your child learning to read? Pets also make great reading buddies, since kids may feel more relaxed reading aloud to a pet than to an adult.

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Source: Unsplash

Pets are great for all these reasons and so many more! If you live in Massachusetts or New Hampshire and are considering fostering or adopting a rescue animal, visit our website to learn more about Survivor Tails Animal Rescue. If you live somewhere else, we encourage you to seek out shelters and animal rescue organizations in your area. There are many, many healthy, loving animals just waiting for a good home!

Of course, pet ownership may not be for everyone. Next week, we’ll be talking about things to consider before you adopt, so keep watching for that!

In the meantime, if you already own a pet or are seriously thinking about getting one, take a moment to comment and let us know what you love about pets!

Adoption Spotlight: Check Out Some of the Amazing Pets Waiting for Adoption

Thinking about getting a pet? There’s no better way to bring a four-footed friend into your home than to adopt one in need! When you adopt through Survivor Tails Animal Rescue, or another rescue organization, you are saving a life and helping to offset the problem of overpopulation in America.

Here are two of the amazing animals currently hoping to be adopted:

bullseyeBullseye

Bullseye is a three-year-old Pit/Beagle mix who is great with people, children, and other dogs! His former owner loved him very much, but got into a situation where she could no longer care for him. Now he’s looking for a new home and a family to love! He weighs about 45 to 50 pounds and is good on a leash and in the car. You can check out his profile at RescueMe.org.

lilyLily

Lily is a Tiger Cat who enjoys head scratches and naps in warm places. A stray on the streets outside Boston, Lily was found when she had a litter of kittens in someone’s backyard. A kind stranger took the family into their home, but now that her kittens are growing up, Lily is ready to find a forever home of her own. She has been diagnosed with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). While cats with FIV can live long, healthy lives, Lily would be best as an only cat. If you think you might like to give this sweet kitty a home, check out her profile on RescueMe.org.

These are just two of the hopefuls waiting in Survivor Tails’ foster homes for a second chance at life. You can see more adoptable rescue animals at RescueMe.org and PetFinder.com. You can also check out our Facebook page for information about newly rescued animals and to find out more about what we do at Survivor Tails Animal Rescue.

7 Ways to Get Involved with Survivor Tails Animal Rescue

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2.4 million healthy, adoptable pets are euthanized in shelters every year (Humane Society). Here at Survivor Tails Animal Rescue, we work with volunteers and communities to rescue cats and dogs from this fate and place them in loving homes. If you would like to get involved, here are seven ways you can make a difference today.

1. Foster a rescue animal.

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Mattie is one of the many pets currently available for adoption.

If you are in the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut, you can become one of our foster families. Since we have no shelter, we rely on our incredible fosters to care for the cats and dogs we rescue while they wait to be placed in their forever homes. Fostering a rescue animal through Survivor Tails is free, aside from food and toys, and we ensure that every animal is fully vetted and spayed or neutered if of age.

You can learn more about our foster program or fill out an online application by visiting our website.

2. Adopt a rescue animal.

For individuals or families who are ready to welcome a pet into their home permanently, you can save a life by adopting a rescue animal. Visit our Adopt page to learn more.

3. Volunteer with Survivor Tails.

In addition to fostering or adopting animals, we always need people who are willing to help out. From processing applications to assisting with animal transportation, there are plenty of ways you can be a part of Survivor Tails. Click here to find out more or to fill out an online volunteer application.

4. Donate to Survivor Tails.

Each rescue comes with many financial costs, such as pull fees, transport, vetting, fixing, quarantining, training, and more. Since the money we receive from adoption fees does not always cover these costs, we depend on the generous donations of our supporters. Each donation helps us to save more lives. You can donate by visiting our website.

5. Shop from our Amazon Wish List.

Purchasing one or more items from our Amazon Wish List is a simple, but significant way to help us keep the animals we rescue safe, healthy, and happy. The list includes items like toys, leashes, treats, and bedding. Whatever your price range, your gift will go to help an animal in need.

6. Come to an event.

You can support Survivor Tails and meet some of our great volunteers and supporters by attending one of our community events. We don’t have an event on the schedule for the next few weeks, but you can watch for future events by periodically checking out our Facebook Events Page.

7. Spread the word.

Finally, the easiest and quickest way you can get involved today is to share our mission with friends and family on social media.

  • Share this post.
  • Like our Facebook page. While you’re there, check out some of our recent posts and share one or two with your friends.
  • Follow us on Twitter and like or retweet some of our tweets.
  • Visit the About page on our website and scroll down to the Press section. Read and share one or more of the news stories that have been written about Survivor Tails.

As a volunteer-only organization, we know the value of each person who decides to get involved. Whether your contribution is time, money, or a loving home for a rescue animal, there is something that you can do today to help us save lives and combat the problems of animal overpopulation.

How will you make a difference today?

Featured image via Pixabay.