For most of us, July Fourth means barbecues, parades and fireworks. But if you have pets, remember that their sense of hearing is far more acute than ours and those loud bangs and echoing booms are not going to make them go "Ooohhh and Aaahhh." It is going to hurt their delicate ears, causing confusion and fear that could lead to panic.
Cats generally deal better with the Fourth than dogs. Most likely they will hide under the nearest bed or sofa. If you have outdoor cats, however, keep them inside on the Fourth because a firecracker going off next door could cause your cat to run into traffic looking for a safe place to hide.
Dog owners need to be especially careful. Every July Fourth brings reports of people searching for their run-away pets who, in many cases, are never seen again. This is especially true if you live in a canyon area since this is the time of year when coyotes come down seeking food and water.
If you live anywhere near a major fireworks display such as the Hollywood Bowl or Dodger Stadium, please see to the safety of your pets. You might ask your vet to prescribe a mild tranquilizer for your animal. Keep your windows shut to minimize noise and -- if possible -- stick close to home. The reassurance of your presence can make all the difference in the world to a frightened animal.
Canyon News wishes you and your pets a happy and safe Fourth of July.
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