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Why July 4th is the most dangerous day of the year for dogs
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July 4th is America’s most significant holiday, but it’s also the most dangerous day of the year for pets.
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As an emergency veterinarian, I’ll admit, I hate the entire week leading up to Independence Day. Not only do the fireworks severely frighten all animals (including wildlife, pets, birds, etc.), but the holiday results in a national influx of injured or lost pets.
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According to PetAmberAlert.com, shelters across the country take in 30 to 60 percent more animals than usual between July 4-6th. Furthermore, The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy found that fewer than 2 percent of cats and 15-20 percent of dogs are ever returned to their families once they’ve entered a shelter. That’s a lot of frantic pet parents who are trying to find their furry family members.
Combine all of this with the 700 percent increase in pet adoptions and fosters in the wake of COVID-19, and I anticipate we will see even more terrorized pets this year.
While I applaud the clearing of animal shelters thanks to the spike in adoptions, I fear that most newly adopted/fostered pets have not gone through puppy training or haven’t been able to get microchipped yet since many veterinarians have had to limit non-essential services during the quarantine. Microchipping can dramatically help reunite pets, yet only 3-4 percent of dogs and less than 1 percent of cats in the U.S. are microchipped.
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This week especially, there’s a huge increase in people setting off fireworks out of boredom from quarantine.
In New York City alone, Macy’s is setting off 5 nights of fireworks. While these are a welcome distraction from life in quarantine, this makes for 5 days of fear and anxiety for pets and those who love them.