Fireworks, The Fourth, and Frightened Pets: ID Tags Bring Lost Dogs and Cats Back Home

Summer is officially here, and so is Independence Day. The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. This is because it takes place in the summertime, which is my favorite season. Also, I love to watch fireworks!

Yet, as much as you and I may love fireworks, many dogs and cats are terrified of them. This fear may cause them to escape from our yard or house and become lost. Did you know that July 5th is the busiest day for animal shelters around the country?

Let’s Do the Numbers

30% of all lost pet incidents each year occur on the evening of July Fourth. reports that nationally, animal shelters and animal control officers across the country see a 30-60% increase in lost pets each year between July 4th and 6th.

The ASPCA completed a large survey and found:

  • 15% of pet parents had a lost dog or lost cat in the past five years
  • 85% of those lost pets were recovered: 74% of cat parents found their lost cat and 93% of dog parents found their lost dog
  • 49% of the lost dogs were found by searching the neighborhood
  • 15% of the lost dogs were recovered because they were wearing an ID tag or had a microchip
  • 59% of the lost cats returned home on their own
  • 30% of the lost cats were found by searching the neighborhood
  • 6% of dog parents and 2% of cat parents found their lost pets at a shelter

How Can I Prevent a Lost Cat or Dog?

When our dog or cat is lost, the only thing we want is for them to return home. We worry about what may have happened to them, if they may be injured, if they know how to find their way back home, if they have eaten anything, if they have been in a fight, or if someone who does not like animals may have found them.

Hopefully, we are able to find our lost dog or cat quickly ourselves by searching our neighborhood. Second best, we hope that a good, animal-loving person has found them. But if this person finds them and can’t identify them, then we may still never end up reunited with our lost pet.

Here are a few tips to make sure our lost pet is returned to us quickly:

  • The easiest and fastest way to make sure our pets are identifiable is by wearing an ID tag.
  • Frayed and worn collars are more easily torn if they get caught on a fence or branch. We need to regularly check to makes sure our pets’ collars are intact. Check out Hollywood Feed’s Mississippi Made collars and leads here.
  • We should check to make sure that our pets’ ID tags are attached to their collars well and the clip or metal ring holding the tag to the collar is not worn or bent.
  • Let’s also check to make sure our pets’ ID tags are legible and not scratched. If it’s not legible, it’s worthless!
  • Keep dogs and cats inside after dusk and supervise potty breaks in fenced yards or take dogs out on a leash for a few days before and after the Fourth of July.

Before the Fourth of July arrives, let’s all make sure that our pets are easily identifiable so they can be returned home to us in the case of disaster.

Microchips are a Great Back-Up

Besides ID tags, there are other options available to make sure our pets are able to be identified. I like ID tags because they are easily and quickly visible to a do-gooder. This makes it simple for someone to approach our dog or cat (if they’re being friendly), call our phone number, and reunite us.

I believe that pets should also be microchipped. Microchips cannot fall off a collar or become worn, so they are a great back-up if our pet becomes lost. If we microchip, though, we should not forget to also have an ID tag as well as keep our microchip information up to date!

Many people will make an effort to return a lost pet to his home with an easy, breezy phone call from a visible ID tag. It is a rarer type of person who will load a strange dog or cat into their car with no identifiers, take him to a vet’s office to see if there is a microchip, and then deal with the consequences of finding no microchip, or finding a microchip with outdated information. This means a stranger will have to make the choice to leave our pet with a shelter, or keep him at their home while they put up posters and make posts on websites. That’s if anyone stops to help in the first place!

My Dog Is Scared of Fireworks

If we are one of the many pet parents with a dog who is scared of fireworks, thunderstorms, and other loud noises, then there are some soothing options.

We definitely need to take the precautions I listed above and make sure our pets have ID tags and that we supervise them in a fenced yard or walk them on a leash around the Fourth of July, but we can also try a few products to help with stress and anxiety.

ThunderShirt is a vest we put on our dog, that swaddles him in a soothing hug and helps to calm him. ThunderShirt works really well for my high-anxiety Annie. Read my product review on ThunderShirt here.

There are also other calming aids to try like Progility Calming Chews. This delicious chew will help support nervous system functioning in dogs and promote a sense of well-being.

Heavenly Hounds Calming Chews are another great solution for anxious pups. Heavenly Hounds supports balanced behavior and promotes relaxation for events that create hyper hounds, like during separation, travel, and tension caused by environmentally induced stresses, such as storms, fireworks, holiday, etc.

Have you ever had a lost dog or cat? Was he return home to you? How was he returned home? Let us know in the comment section below.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Ann Meeks

    My dog was terrified by loud noises and especially fireworks. A few years ago, he was barking like crazy in the backyard as the fireworks were exploding in the neighborhood. Suddenly I didn’t hear him barking and found him dead – he had a heart attack. He was a wonderful dog and is still missed so much. I hate the coming of holidays that encourage fireworks.

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