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MDARD Reminds Michiganders to Keep Animals Safe While Celebrating Independence Day

LANSING, MI — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is reminding Michiganders to keep their animals safe during the upcoming July 4th weekend. Fireworks, festivities, and other types of loud noises can make animals scared and anxious – so, it is essential to take extra precautions during holiday celebrations. 

“While the 4th of July is a time for celebration, we must remember some aspects of these events can frighten animals,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “Animals are often sensitive to loud noises and sounds, flashing lights, and strong smells, which is why we recommend keeping a close eye on your animals and taking extra steps to protect them this holiday.” 

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), more animals go missing around July 4th than any other time of the year. Fireworks can cause animals to become frightened and disoriented, making the days following Independence Day some of the busiest at local animal shelters.

Following these simple tips can help your pet stay safe and comfortable: 

  • Ensure pets have ID tags or registered microchips with your current contact information
  • Keep pets indoors when people are likely to set off fireworks.
  • Open doors to the outside carefully, so an animal does not escape.
  • Provide a separate space away from the noise to reduce stress – turning on a radio or TV may help to drown out loud noises.
  • Consider offering a special pet-friendly treat or new toy to help distract them from fireworks.
  • If dogs are taken outside briefly, make sure they are kept on a leash, even if they are in a fenced area, as they could run due to an unexpected noise.
  • Keep horses and other livestock safely fenced in or in their barns.
  • Never set off fireworks near animals. 
  • Check in on animals periodically, especially when sounds are the loudest, to see how they are doing.
  • Before letting animals back outside, check your yard, pasture, etc. for firework debris.

For more advice on how to keep your animals calm and safe this holiday, please contact your veterinarian.

In addition to protecting pets during the 4th of July weekend, MDARD is reminding Michiganders to play it safe regarding food during the holiday weekend by following a few safe food-handling tips can protect everyone from foodborne illness.

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