Petaluma Animal Services is reminding residents that upcoming Fourth of July celebrations can be unsettling and even dangerous for many pets.
"Every year in Petaluma on the Fourth, we respond to many calls for wayward or stressed pets running loose, barking wildly, cowered in tight unsafe spaces, injured on the streets, or worse," said Officer Jason Pietsch.
"A couple of years ago, I responded to a call for a dog that had scaled an eight foot fence, ran full speed for over an hour, and eventually died of a heart attack."
In order to help prevent such things, Pietsch offers the following tips for pet owners preparing for the holiday:
--Know your pet's threshold for noise and flashes of light. If your pet is alarmed by thunder and lightning, this is a good indicator to help you know how your pet might react.
-- Take dogs on a long walk early in the day to curb nervous energy later.
-- Provide things to keep your pet occupied.
-- Stay at home to monitor pets' condition.
-- Close your blinds and keep the inside of your home brightly lit. This can help diffuse the flashes of light and provide a sound barrier.
-- Provide a sanctuary like a pile of blankets or open crate where a scared pet can feel safe.
-- Make sure pets have their ID on them.
-- Indoors is the only safe place for cats.
-- Some pets are inconsolable. In this case, see if a friend who lives in a quiet neighborhood can pet sit.
To learn more, visit www.petalumaanimalshelter.org or call 778-4396.