LOGAN SQUARE — Where everyone is out celebrating Fourth of July fireworks, dogs will likely be hiding under tables or in bath tubs to escape the loud noise.
Any pet owner will tell you: Fourth of July can be rough on dogs, cats and other creatures. The loud booms of the fireworks are so frightening some dogs try to run off. In fact, Independence Day sees more pets get lost than any other time of the year, according to PAWS Chicago, the city’s largest no-kill shelter.
Animal Control volunteers will be spending Thursday with shelter animals in hopes of comforting them through the fireworks. Those who wish to help can donate toys, blankets, peanut butter and canned dog and cat food 8 a.m.-8 p.m. or visit animals noon-7 p.m. at Animal Control, 2741 S. Western Ave.
And there are things pet owners can do to help their own animals, according to PAWS and Chicago Animal Care and Control.
Here are their tips:
- Keep your pets indoors. Fireworks can cause animals to panic and try to run away, according to PAWS. Animal Control said even putting your dog in a fenced area might not be enough as they’ll try to jump the fence to escape.
- Give pets a safe spot in which to hide, whether it be a room or a crate, according to Animal Control.
- Ambient noise can help mask the boom of the fireworks. Putting on a TV or “comforting music” can help furry family members, according to Animal Control.
- If you’re home, distract your pets by playing with them, Animal Control suggested.
- Even if your animal seems to be OK with the noise from the fireworks, keep your pet away from lit fireworks. They can burn your pets if they’re curious and get too close, according to PAWS.
- Keep your pets away from unused fireworks, too: They can contain potentially toxic substances, according to PAWS.
- If you’re having a party, make sure your animal is behind a baby gate or in a quiet room that people aren’t walking in and out of to ensure the pet doesn’t escape, according to PAWS.
- Don’t give your pets alcohol: It can kill them or send them into a coma, according to PAWS. Even beer is toxic.
- And don’t give your pets human party food, like grapes or onion-y foods, because those can also be hazardous to dogs and cats, according to PAWS.
- Make sure your animals have their IDs and microchips up to date just in case they do get away.
- Make sure you have a recent photo of your animal that you can you use for signs if your pet does escape, PAWS suggested.
- If you’re going out, don’t leave your animals in the car. Car temperatures can heat up quickly and that heat can kill animals. This Fourth of July might be rainy, but it’ll still be hot.
- It’s not just beer or party snacks that can be bad for your pet this Fourth. Sunscreen, the insecticide DEET, lighter fluid, matches, glow jewelry and citronella can also be dangerous and should be kept from animals, according to PAWS.
Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.