MADISON, NJ -St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center encourages people to include their pets in family activities and celebrations but reminds them to always keep the safety and comfort of the animals at the forefront of their planning. The Center’s animal welfare experts offer tips to make the Fourth of July festivities fun for all and avoid situations that could be unsafe or uncomfortable for dogs and cats.
“Pets are family members and it’s wonderful that there are so many animal-friendly venues and activities available in communities today,” said Becky Burton, St. Hubert’s VP of Direct Animal Care and Lifesaving Partnerships. “It’s important though that we also be mindful of those activities that may not be enjoyable for our pets and plan accordingly.”
- Fireworks—not every pet is disturbed by fireworks but for those that are the experience can be extremely stressful. Keep dogs and cats indoors and if they will be home alone safely confined in a familiar, escape proof room. Crate-trained dogs are often most comfortable there. Closed windows, drawn shades and background music can help decrease the outside noises and flashes. Even pets that are not frightened should be indoors if personal fireworks are being used nearby to avoid injury.
- Parades—unless pet parents are certain their canine companions are completely comfortable around large crowds and loud noises dogs should be left at home. High heat, lack of shade and hot pavement can all be dangerous.
- Parties—Too much or the wrong kinds of foods can be dangerous. To ensure a positive experience for pets invited to join the festivities, keep special treats on hand for dogs and cats and remind guests not to share party fare with them. There are likely to be a plethora of foods pets should not have—grapes/raisins, onions, garlic, chocolate, alcohol to name a few. If pets will be present post signs on doors and gates to avoid them exiting unattended.
Despite all best efforts a pet may accidentally get out and become lost. People and pets spend more time outdoors during the summer months in general, so it’s a good time to be sure collars are secure and that tag and microchip information is up to date. Information and advice on locating lost pets and reuniting found ones with their families can be found on St. Hubert’s website at https://www.sthuberts.org/pethelpline/ or by calling the Center’s Pet Helpline at973-377-2253.
ABOUT ST. HUBERT'S ANIMAL WELFARE CENTER Founded in 1939, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the humane treatment of animals. Its services to the community include pet adoption and animal rescue, humane education, a pet helpline, pet training, professional education, animal-assisted therapy, and pet loss support. St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center has shelters in Madison, North Branch, and Ledgewood, NJ, The Behavior Center in Madison, and a PetSmart Charities Everyday Adoption Center at the PetSmart in Mt. Olive. For more information about St. Hubert’s, visit www.sthuberts.org or contact the Madison shelter at (973) 377-2295, the North Branch shelter at (908) 526-3330, the Ledgewood shelter at (973) 347-5469, or the Everyday Adoption Center at (973) 448-7601, ext. 7.
Nora J. Parker
St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center