Pet safety for Fourth of July begins now

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The Fourth of July holiday is nearly here, but the fireworks have already begun in neighborhoods throughout San Bernardino County. Animal Care and Control (ACC) advises pet owners to begin preparing now to help keep their pets safer. Fireworks can frighten pets, causing them to flee from their homes, but there are some basic steps that pet owners can take to help avoid it.

“It can be a scary time for our companion animals,” said Dr.  Robin Day of the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley.

Keep pets indoors.

A scared animal can jump higher and run faster than when they are just playing. Check their surroundings for any potential escape routes, like holes under fences and eliminate them. Make sure furry friends have a collar with identification tags and a microchip with up-to-date contact information.

Create a calm environment.

Play soft music or provide toys and reassurance to pets so they feel comfortable. Talk to a veterinarian if pets needs additional help.

“There are natural calming substances like Adaptal, a canine pheromone that you can spray on their bed to provide a calming effect,” said Dr. Day. “Antianxiety medication is also available from your veterinarian and should be started 2-3 days before July 4, when fireworks will be going off.”

Place dangerous items out of reach.

Keep alcohol away from pets and provide them with fresh, clean water. Place fireworks, matches and citronella out of their reach too as they contain harmful chemicals that they should not ingest.

Start looking for lost pets right away.

Pets brought into rescues or shelters will have their pictures taken and uploaded into PetHarbor.com. Post a picture of four-legged friends on social media sites like Facebook and NextDoor.  Go to the nearest animal shelter to report missing animals. The Devore Animal Shelter will be closed on Thursday, July 4 and will reopen Friday, July 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Animal Care and Control is doing its part to help the community achieve the Countywide Vision by ensuring residents have the resources they need to provide the necessities of life to their families. Information on the Countywide Vision can be found at www.sbcounty.gov/vision.

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