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July 03, 2013

July 4th Celebrations, Admonitions

Tomorrow is Independence Day in the United States, and it’s a cause for celebration. Standard features of that celebration involve getting together with family or friends and watching thunderous displays of fireworks.

Many of us will be awed by the sounds and surprising light patterns of the fireworks. There’s an art to it, and that’s why millions are entertained.

But so many of our animal friends don’t understand what’s going on. It sounds like a war zone to them. They are not celebrating – often, they are cowering.

DogFlag
iStockphoto

Do your best to stay close by your companion during the height of any fireworks display to provide additional comfort and a greater feeling of security. If you are inside your home or apartment, you may want to bring your pet to the room that is most insulated from sound. You may also want to turn on the television or some music to muffle the concussive sounds from outside. If you are outside, make sure your animal is leashed, and that you are in firm control. A frightened pet may try to dart away and could be struck by a vehicle, or leave your line of sight and get lost.

And just a quick word about the temperature: Throughout so much of the United States, it’s hot and uncomfortable. Pets are best off staying home in a cool space rather than accompanying us on errands or to Fourth of July festivities. Our cars become greenhouses, focusing light and heat in the interior of the vehicle as soon as the engine turns off. On a 70 degree day, your car will be more than 100 degrees inside before you have time to pick the kids up from the pool (see chart below).

If you see a dog in a car this summer for more than a couple of minutes, and the sun is beating down on the car, alert the local authorities immediately. Ask the business to make an announcement requesting the owner return to the car, and wait for the authorities to arrive. The HSUS offers a downloadable flyer free of charge to remind people to never leave their pets in a car. No quick trip is worth the tragedy of heatstroke, organ damage or death that can result.

Vehicle Temp

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