4 tips to keep your Tahoe-Truckee pets safe this holiday weekend | SierraSun.com

4 tips to keep your Tahoe-Truckee pets safe this holiday weekend

Pamela Hormiotis
Special to the Sun

Dogs and other animals want to celebrate just as much as humans this Fourth of July Weekend.

TAHOE-TRUCKEE — Fourth of July is a time of celebration for families across America. But did you know that more pets get spooked, run away and get injured on this holiday than any other day of the year?

Even scarier — without proper ID, 90% of lost pets never return home. Sadly, July 5, is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters, with a full 30% increase in lost pets nationwide.

Follow these smart tips to keep your pets from becoming a statistic:

1. Exercise: Get out and play with your dogs during the day before the fireworks begin, but be sure to keep them cool and prevent overheating. This will minimize any pent-up nervous energy which will help them stay relaxed and calm when the festivities start.

2. Set up a retreat: Keep it calm and quiet. The high-pitched trills, thundering booms and bright flashing fireworks can make even the bravest dogs terrified and disoriented. It's best to keep them securely locked indoors, lower the blinds, and close the windows. That will help shield them from the frightening loud noises and flashes of light. Play gentle music or white noise to soothe sensitive ears. Homeopathic remedies like Rescue Remedy or calming chews may help as well. Check on the dogs every few hours to reinforce that sense of security and to make sure they are not injuring themselves.

3. Check their IDs: Even if your dog is safely indoors at the beginning of the evening, that adorable smarty-paws could find a way to escape. Many have jumped off decks, through windows and out of cars. Remember, 90% of lost pets never return home if they don't have proper identification, especially if you are on vacation away from home. That's why a microchip and collar ID tags are so important. To prep for the 4th, check that both forms of ID are up-to-date with your current contact info.

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4. Track their movements: Worse case scenario, your furry friend escapes. Which would you prefer: searching furtively for days or using your phone to see where your dog has gone? There are many reliable Pet Trackers that will send an alert if your frightened pet runs away from your base station (which can be changed if you are away from home), and you can start tracking their location in minutes. Always make sure your device is fully charged. If you don't have a GPS tracker consider getting one. You can find one on our website or just Google them.

Remember — it's better to be safe than sorry.

Pamela Hormiotis is a Canine Behavior Consultant and executive director of Lake Tahoe Wolf Rescue, based in Incline Village. Portions of the information above was taken from a pet-friendly blog by the company Whistle, which, among other things, produces the Whistle GPS Pet Tracker, touted as the world's most reliable pet tracker. Visit LakeTahoeWolfRescue.com to learn more about Lake Tahoe Wolf Rescue.