Tips from DoveLewis for keeping your pet safe on Fourth of July - KPTV - FOX 12

Tips from DoveLewis for keeping your pet safe on Fourth of July

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

When it comes to keeping pets safe on the Fourth of July DoveLewis encourages pet owners to be proactive and prepared.

"Pet owners should keep dogs on a leash while out watching fireworks and they should make sure pets are safely secured indoors if left at home," said DoveLewis Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lee Herold. "It's important for both people and pets to maintain a safe distance from any live fireworks show or celebration."

Here are some additional helpful tips to keep pets safe this time of year:

1. Protect Pets at Home, Inside & Out

Legal or not, loud noises from exploding fireworks can be very stressful for animals. If pets can't be watched, they should be secured indoors. At DoveLewis, it's not uncommon to see animals that have jumped fences or injured their paws and toenails from trying to dig through or chain link or wooden fence slats. If pets do escape, they are at risk of being hit by cars or getting lost.

The loud noise from the fireworks can even affect animals indoors. DoveLewis doctors have treated panicked patients who have jumped through glass windows, or second-story screen windows and doors. A radio or fan can provide soothing background noise to drown out the sound of fireworks. If a pet is sensitive to loud sounds, they should not be left unattended for long periods of time.

Unfortunately, animals can also be targets for abuse around the July 4th holiday. Owners are urged to ensure their pets have proper identification so they can be contacted quickly when the animal is found. Utilizing an online service like the DoveLewis lost and found database immediately after a pet goes missing will help increase the likelihood of a happy reunion.

2. Be Aware of Firework and Food Dangers

Fireworks in shiny packages can look like an appetizing snack and can be poisonous to animals. Even though the risk is usually small, pets can be burned from falling fireworks and sparklers. Both used and unused fireworks should be kept away from pets. Remember that even a holiday barbeque or picnic can pose a threat to pets. Make sure that all foods are kept out of the reach of pets and that trash bags are tightly secured to avoid any unfortunate digestion mishaps.

3. Discuss the use of Mild Sedatives with a Veterinarian

If a pet is especially sensitive to noise, pet owners should discuss a mild sedative with their regular veterinarian. The doctor should suggest testing the dosage prior to being exposed to noisy fireworks so planning ahead is important. Similar to humans, mild sedatives can cause a pet to become either sleepy or hyperactive.

4. Be on the Lookout for Injured Stray Animals or Wildlife

Always exercise extreme caution when approaching an injured stray animal or wildlife. An injured animal may be scared, confused or disoriented and could bite or attack if approached or handled. Using a large blanket or towel will help calm the animal and reduce the risk of further injury and threats to handler. If available, use an animal crate or small cardboard box to safely transport the animal to DoveLewis' northwest hospital at 1945 NW Pettygrove in Portland, Ore.

5. When in doubt, seek professional help

When in doubt, seek the advice of a veterinary emergency professional at (503) 228-7281.

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