LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Many dogs that get spooked during the Fourth of July season and become unprotected during the heat end up at local animal shelters across the country, making this one of the busiest times of the year for those shelters.
“A lot of dogs get out, they get scared, all the festivities going on with Fourth of July, and the fireworks, and the heat,” said Ashley Hammond, the fundraiser director from the Lexington Humane Society.
Hammond recommended getting your pets micro-chipped and for them to be wearing visible ID tags.
Other suggestions for your pets during the Fourth of July season include:
- Leaving pets at home and inside.
- Creating a space inside for your pet where he/she feels comfortable.
- Pet-proofing your home in case your animal gets scared and destroys items.
- Updating the information on your animal’s tag.
- Consulting a vet for pets who have anxiety issues.
Another problem around this time is the heat.
“They don’t sweat like we do. They are able to get rid of the heat that they have through panting and through their paws,” Hammond said.
Hammond said it is best to keep pets inside and protected from the heat and give them plenty of water.
Even at the shelter, outside play is limited.
“Every time a staff member walks by a kennel, they look at the animal and make sure they’re doing okay,” Hammond said.
The signs of heat stress, which can be fatal to your pet, include:
- Heavy panting
- Glazed eyes
- Rapid pulse
- Unsteadiness or staggering
- Deep red or purple tongue
If a pet becomes overheated, take them into the shade and apply cool water to their body to lower the body temperature.
There are 600 animals at the Lexington Humane Society and the hope is that, as long as you are protecting your animal from the heat and the loud booms, they will not have to add too many more during this time.