Monday, July 1, 2013

Keep Everyone Safe

Did you know that more pets are lost during firework celebrations than not? In fact, more dogs are lost on the 4th of July than any other day in the year.

It's totally true, google it.

Our local Humane Society is really good about posting reminders and things of that nature around this time of year, but for some reason, there are still tons of dogs at every fireworks celebration we have ever gone to.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to pack up the pups, head down to the park, have a little picnic and watch the fireworks with them, but I won't and I would never do that to them.

Dogs hear much better than you or I. You know how sometimes at fireworks you're grabbing your ears because it is just slightly too loud for comfort for you? This probably sounds like someone is firing a gun into your dogs ear, while screaming, and blowing a whistle- which is why dogs and spooked and book it.

Honestly, if they look like this during a thunderstorm, why would you take them to fireworks?

Here are my hints to keep everyone safe. (Now remember, I'm not a dog expert- I just live with the things and this is what has worked for us)

1.) Leave them home!
Let the poor things hide where they feel safe- they are going to be extra fidgety and easily spooked as it is, if they're at home you at least know where they are.

2.) Leave your windows closed that night.
Try to muffle the noise out as best you can.

3.) If you have an especially nervous dog, crate them on active fireworks nights.
Throw a blanket over their crate, give them a giant deer antler and let them hide in their cave. This will also help your peace of mind knowing they are hulking out of a window/whatever.

4.) Don't let them outside by themselves.
I don't care if you have the most secure fenced in yard on the planet- if your dog is spooked they will find a way to get out and book it away from what scared them. Go out with them so they feel safe knowing alpha is close by. This is also highly recommended if you live by a fireworks site to ensure your dogs aren't eating blown up sulfur off the ground that has floated into your yard.

5.) If you're "Meh" about fireworks/crowds as it is, stay home with them.
Everything is better when alpha is home.

6.) Make sure your dog is wearing clear and visible ID tags.
ID tags are the first thing people check for, make sure they find it.

Now, for those unfortunate enough to lose a dog this time of year (and I'm so sorry!) here are some hints for trying to get your dog back.

1.) Microchip your dog.
It is technically illegal to keep a dog when they have a microchip registered to someone else. This will not only make it so a vet/pound will call you if they find your dog, but if you come across someone with your dog randomly ("Oh, I found him, I liked him, and I decided to keep him") they have to give you your dog back. You can take legal action if they don't and you'll win.

2.) Immediately call your vet/microchip company/local animal control when you discover your dog is missing.
Your vet and microchip company can flag your dog's chip as active and send alerts to every pound in your state so where ever your baby ends up, they know he has owners looking for him. There are places that take how quickly you act into account when you are trying to get your dog back. (Oh, your dog's been missing for two weeks and you never came looking for him?) The faster you act, the more likely your dog is going to come back to you/not get adopted out.

3.) Post a sign in YOUR yard.
If your dog is missing, post a sign in your yard with a picture. People in your neighborhood who find a dog and are able to get it into their cars usually drive around looking for someone in a frantic search. If you post in your yard that you are missing someone, it gives people an obvious landmark.

4.) Post signs around your neighborhood/post an ad on craigslist.
Craigslist has a lost/found section as well as a generic pet section. This will give you a broader audience when looking for your dog. Posting in your neighborhood also helps. Just remember, your dog could be anywhere.

5.) Tweet!
Lansing has a city hashtag (#lovelansing) and if I hear about a dog missing/find a dog, I always tweet that I've found x breed in x town and for someone to DM me if they know anything about it. More people have twitter than use the pet section in craigslist, so you may catch someone you weren't expecting who will know where your guy is.

6.) Use your neighborhood association.
My neighborhood is huge, when I find a dog in the neighborhood (which is often...) I always e-mail my neighborhood association trying to figure out clues.
 

Also remember that a lot of these tricks for if you lose a dog can be implemented if you find one. Please take the extra time this year to get that lost dog somewhere safe. If you see one running in your neighborhood, try to coax it to you. I couldn't imagine if I lost my scruffs and someone just drove past.

This week is supposed to be about celebrating and having some good old fashioned summer fun. Let's all put a little extra effort into keeping all our scruffies safe! 

5 comments:

  1. I wish crating Jarvis made him feel better about fireworks :( He gets WAYYYYYY more anxious in his crate. Last year he freaked out and clawed so hard at his kennel that his front paw bled. And that was only after being in there for 5 minutes :( The best way to settle him is shut the windows, turn the TV on and sit with him on the floor. He is still very shaky and anxious but he doesn't injure himself this way. Good luck fellow dog owners!

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  2. One of my dogs is terrified of storms, so I'm sure the same goes for fireworks. She doesn't run. She just gets as close to you as possible. It's really pathetic and sweet at the same time. I love that Lansing has a hashtag. That's just awesome.

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  3. Buster gets so scared of fireworks. He hides under pillows. Sometimes we can't find him in the house, but as soon as he is "missing" we start over-turning pillows, and sure enough, there he is curled up.

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  4. This was such a fabulous post! Luckily our two "monsters" aren't anxious but they do think someone is trying to break into the house...They start "patrolling" the back yard. Last year we found a 12 year old lab half dehydrated and lost, story ends happily, we found the owner, but she had busted through her backyard fence. She was so scared she found superman strength, even as an old gal. Thank you again, and hopefully all the furry kids made it through without too much anxiety.

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  5. This is such an informative post. As a dog owner of 3, I really appreciate the time you took to put all this together. My one dog freaks out during thunderstorms and fireworks. Keeping her in the room with me has helped to calm her nerves.

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