SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Fourth of July weekend celebrations are fun for people, but they can be traumatizing for pets.
Many dogs run away from their homes because they are scared of fireworks and if they are not secured properly.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services in Goleta are giving free pet tags for dog owners so there is another plan in place in case their dog runs away from home. The tags can be attached to collars and owners can write the dog's name, address and phone number on it.
Here are some tips on how to protect your pets this weekend:
• Make sure your dog is wearing a current license tag and update microchip information. A license tag is your dog’s ticket home. Animal Services will be quickly reuniting lost animals with their family if the animal is wearing a license or microchipped and your information is up to date. If your animal is not wearing a tag, you can pick one up from your local Santa Barbara County Animal Services’ Shelter for no charge before July 3rd. Remember to tag your cat, too.
• Keep them inside. Bring indoor/outdoor cats and dogs inside. Set up a nice quiet spot in a windowless room, if possible, or keep them in a carrier or kennel. Even if you think your yard is secure, a frightened dog will find a way to escape and a tied up dog may strangle itself trying to get away.
• Leave the TV or radio on to distract them; soothing noise may help keep pets calm.
• Walk Fido before the fireworks start. Tiring out your dog with a nice long walk or game of fetch can help them relax and stay calm through the noise.
• Do not bring your pet to a fireworks display. For their safety and the safety of others, please leave your pet(s) at home.
• If your dog or cat is especially noise sensitive, consider having someone stay home with them, boarding them, or discuss sedatives with your veterinarian.
• Keep your dog crated, to ensure they stay safe and home. Provide them with activities, like Kongs, to pass the time and leave a radio on low. You can even cover the crate to provide more security. If you do not have a crate, you may borrow one from the Santa Maria Animal Center or La PAWS Adoption Center by providing a copy of your photo ID.
For more information contact your local shelter: La PAWS 805-737-7755, Santa Maria Animal Center 805-934-6119, Santa Barbara Shelter 805-681-5285.
Reporter Vicky Nguyen spoke to an employee at Santa Barbara County Animal Services and will have a live report at 5:00 p.m. Check back later for additional information.