With the Fourth of July on Thursday, pet owners may be worried about dealing with their animals getting upset or anxious during fireworks.
Lake Martin Animal Shelter director Mia Chandler said dogs that are afraid of storms are typically also afraid of fireworks, and some end up running away when outdoors.
Before the celebrations begin this week, Chandler said proper identification is crucial to pets being found if they run away during fireworks.
Owners should use their dog’s rabies tag, personalized tag or have it microchipped. If an owner doesn’t have any of these, he or she should take a sharpie and write a phone number on his or her dog’s belly.
“Identification is key,” Chandler said.
Chandler said she can’t count how many times on July 5 the shelter gets calls about missing dogs who fled from fireworks.
“Without identification it’s pure chance that you’re going to be reunited,” Chandler said.
Because Lake Martin is a tourist spot, visitors bring pets that can get lost easily and there are no leash limits outside Alexander City, according to Chandler.
“If you have a pet that has absolute storm anxiety and in turn firework anxiety, go ahead and walk them on a leash and be on the cautious side,” Chandler said.
Other tips include extending pets’ walking times from July 3 to 5, keeping scared animals indoors in rooms that don’t lead outside and refilling anxiety medication for pets before the holiday.
“If your pets are strictly outdoors try to figure a way to strictly contain them so they will not run and get lost,” Chandler said.
If pets go missing, immediately get the word out on social media.
“Don’t wait until the next day because a lot of ground can be covered in a matter of hours,” Chandler said. “You’ll need to contact your shelter, you’ll need to contact vet clinics and neighbors.”