By Deon Guillory, WJBF GMA Weekend Anchor/Reporter - email
Augusta, GA -
You may be excited about the big July 4th weekend, but your pet...not so much.
The numbers show that more pets get lost on July 4th than any other day of the year.
As we celebrate our nation's independence with fireworks and food, all that fun we are having can be a nightmare for man's best friend, but there are some things you can do to keep Fido from running away.
Playtime in the park is nothing to bark at for Meagan Ryan and her pooch, Diesel, just one of her dogs who is used to staying in the house.
"Usually loud noises terrify them. So they are going to run," Ryan said.
That's the case with most dogs. According to the website Petfinder.com, more pets get lost on July 4th than any other day of the year.
Fireworks are being blamed as the main cause of runaway dogs.
Ryan said, "It definitely makes sense with the fireworks being real loud and the dogs getting terrified."
"It's a pop, pop, pop noise and it causes them to escape," said Bobby Arthurs, with Aiken County Animal Control. "It's important that we communicate with each other to let them know, hey, you might want to put your dog up because we're gonna shoot fireworks tonight," he added.
Leave your dog at home with a frozen stuffed treat during the fireworks
If your dog is afraid of loud noises, leave gentle music playing to cover the fireworks
Take a current photo of your dog, just in case
It's not just fireworks, though. The smell of your backyard barbeque could lure a dog to your yard, but by following a few steps, Arthurs says you'll help Animal Control. "It saves Animal Control a lot of time and it saves our shelter space, and it saves the animal from being terrified if they just plan," he said.
These tips are what Ryan said she is already doing. "My plan is probably keep them inside because they are house dogs. They're not that big of a fan of outside."
Pet experts also say to exercise your dog early in the day and be sure your pooch is wearing an up-to-date and visible ID tag on its collar.
Arthurs also explains that horses are spooked by fireworks, as well.