Did you know the Fourth of July is one of the busiest days for animal shelters as pets go missing? Before the holiday, be sure to check that your pet’s microchip is up-to-date with your latest contact information. If your pet is not microchipped, it’s important to take care of that – and we can help!

It’s so simple! A microchip is about the size and shape of a grain of rice and is placed underneath your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. Microchip implantation takes only a few minutes and is very safe. Each microchip is unique and carries vital information about your pet—including your name, address, and contact information. When a microchip is implanted, the pet owner is given a registration form to complete. Registering the number on the microchip includes your pet in a national pet recovery database. Veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, and animal control offices across the country are equipped with special electronic scanners that can detect the microchip and read the identification number. If a lost pet is picked up by animal control or found by a good Samaritan and presented to a veterinarian, a quick scan of the microchip reveals the identification number. A toll-free phone call to the pet recovery database alerts the microchip company that a lost pet has been identified. The pet owner can then be contacted and reunited with his or her pet!

We also have some great tips on protecting your pets during the holiday!

Tip #1: Prevent your pet from experiencing gastrointestinal problems

Think the barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, and chocolate brownie might give you a tummy ache? These foods can do a lot worse to your pet. Chicken bones can splinter and cause a perforation in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, and a corn cob could become lodged there, leading to a blockage that would require surgery to repair. Sweets often contain ingredients toxic to pets, like chocolate and xylitol. If you’re cooking out with friends, avoid the emergency veterinary visit by keeping your pup away from the party food, and ensuring guests understand that they should never feed your dog from the table.

Tip #2: Keep your pet calm amidst the booms and bangs of fireworks

To us, they’re pretty. To many pets, however, they’re terrifying. Our furry friends don’t understand what’s happening when the loud noises of fireworks begin, so it’s best to prepare them in advance of the colorful show. 

  • Several weeks before the Fourth of July, begin desensitizing your pet to the sounds of Fireworks by playing audio recordings at a low volume. Slowly increase the volume each day until it sounds similar to the real fireworks show.
  • Prepare a safe and secure place for your pet to go during the fireworks. It should be an interior room in your home, and you should close all doors, windows, and window treatments. Play calming music in the room, and plug in a pheromone diffuser (Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats). Put your pet’s favorite toys and bedding in the room, and use a long-lasting treat, like a Kong toy with frozen peanut butter inside, as a distraction.

Tip #3: Prevent your pet from becoming lost

Many pets become lost on the Fourth of July. If friends and family will be coming and going from your home or yard, ensure they know to keep doors and gates securely closed so your pet can’t sneak through. And, if you have designated a safe room for your pet, ensure it’s secure so she can’t escape. Sometimes, determined pets are able to escape despite our best efforts. If this happens to your pet, a registered microchip with up-to-date contact information provides the greatest chance of her being reunited with you. 

If you need anything at all, we’re here to help!