July 4 is a time for celebration, but pets don’t always enjoy the festivities. In fact, July 5 is historically one of the busiest days for animal shelters after frightened pets escape from houses and yards.
As veterinarians, we can help prevent pets and families from getting separated. Educating clients about the hazards of the holiday, including ways to reduce anxiety and fireworks fear, can go a long way to keep pets safe at home. We also can underscore the importance of having pets microchipped and keeping the microchip information up to date.
Even with only a few days left before the July 4 holiday, we still have an opportunity to get these important messages out to a large portion of our clients, and even their friends, through social media. We encourage you to share links to this July 4 safety page, which has safety tips not just for pet owners but also for people with horses and livestock. Feel free to highlight the individual tips in separate posts. For example:
July 4 safety tip: Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings.
July 4 safety tip: If you have horses, consider marking a safety (breakaway) halter with your contact information and leaving it on your horse during this stressful time.
Use AVMA’s member toolkit to encourage microchipping
For animals that do become separated from their owners, an up-to-date microchip can be a lifeline. Check the Chip Day is August 15, but it’s never too early to spread the message of proper pet identification. The AVMA’s veterinary toolkit can help you discuss microchipping with clients and increase the chances of a successful reunion. Among other resources, take advantage of ready-to-post social media messages and images, other ideas to bring Check the Chip Day into your clinic, and a downloadable client handout. You also can share our Meet Max video on your website and social media or play it in your clinic reception area.
The AVMA sponsors Check the Chip Day with the support of HomeAgain every August 15 to remind pet owners to have pets microchipped and keep the microchip registration information current. Start promotions early to ensure more post-July 4 reunions!