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Fourth of July fireworks less fun for our furry friends

 

Andrew Hazzard/Dispatch Staff

 

Independence Day is awesome. It's summertime, there are BBQ's to attend, friends to catch up with, good food and drink and, of course, fireworks.  

 

Life isn't so fun for Uncle Sam's best friend, however, who may be subject to wearing a patriotic bandanna, being taunted with delicious meat prepared for human consumption and being terrified by our loud proclamations of freedom.  

 

"Shelters all over see a definite increase in animals coming in," said Karen Johnwick of the Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society.  

 

Fourth of July and other days that induce celebration by fireworks are busy days for the animal control industry, Johnwick said. Loud noises can cause animals to experience fear and stress, and may lead them to run away from home.  

 

Dr. Karen Emerson, a veterinarian at the Animal Clinic of Columbus, said it is common for many pet owners to get anxiety medication to get their animals through the night. Emerson said that the most commonly administered drug is Acepromazine, which makes the dogs drowsy and can help reduce their fear.  

 

"People may want to put their pets inside or go to the vet for a sedative," Emerson said.  

 

Johnwick said that it is important for pet owners to make sure their animal has a tag that states the owners name and contact information, so that the animals can be easily returned should they run away. She said that often times it is not until pet owners contact the humane society themselves that any dogs can be returned.  

 

If fireworks do noticeably stress your pet, it is best to leave them in a room with music playing or a television on, Johnwick said.

 

 

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