Spectacular fireworks displays, backyard barbecues, and basking at the beach are perfect ways to celebrate our nation’s birth. All these festivities are fun for people, but can be frightening and even dangerous for our four-legged friends. Here are 10 tips to keep your celebration from turning into a tragedy this Fourth of July.
1: Update your pet’s contact information
If your pet flees from the shrieking fireworks, current contact information is crucial for your reunion. Animal control officers across the country report a 30% increase in lost pets between July Fourth and July 6 each year, with July 5 being one of the busiest days for animal shelters. Consider microchipping your pet before the holiday if you haven’t done so already. A microchip is a permanent form of identification that requires a simple injection to administer the chip under the skin between your pet’s shoulder blades. Also, ensure your pet’s collar identification tag contains up-to-date information.
2: Get help to calm your pet’s fear of fireworks
Almost every pet is somewhat fearful of a booming fireworks spectacle, so talk to us about calming your pet. We can alleviate her fear and anxiety with a variety of supplements, compression shirts, music playlists, environmental modifications, and medications. Keep in mind that most anti-anxiety medications require trial-and-error to find the correct dose for your pet, since each animal is an individual and responds to medications differently.
3: Prevent heatstroke
July Fourth is often a scorcher. To avoid the dangers of heatstroke, keep your pet cool and comfortable and provide plenty of cool water, shade, and ventilation outdoors. Limit her time outside, if possible, especially during the hottest part of the day. Watch out for signs of heatstroke, such as excessive panting, restlessness, agitation, weakness, difficulty walking, drooling, or vomiting. Contact our clinic immediately if you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke.
4: Stock up on parasite prevention
Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes enjoy the summer warmth as much as people. These bloodsucking parasites can make your pet uncomfortable and transmit a whole host of dangerous diseases. We can help you choose the preventive products that best suit your pet’s lifestyle to ensure she is protected.
5: Leave your pet at home for the fireworks show
Do not take your pet to a fireworks show. She will be much happier at home in her own bed with a treat. The loud explosions, bright lights, and general chaos of strangers packed together is enough to raise the stress level of even the calmest of pets.
6: Don’t invite your pet to the barbecue
No matter how cute your dog is when she begs, do not sneak her barbecued ribs or corn on the cob. Pancreatitis, gastric upset, and foreign bodies are common during barbecue season, so stick with healthy pet treats, or feed her fresh fruits, veggies, and lean meat for a special treat, rather than heavily seasoned or buttered foods.
7: Keep alcohol out of paw’s reach
Your canine companion may be over 21 in dog years, but alcohol consumption is never good for a pet. Dogs and cats experience the same illnesses from alcohol poisoning as people, including weakness, lethargy, vomiting, collapse, dehydration, and even death.
8: Keep holiday hazards away from your pet
Curious pets can stick their noses into all sorts of holiday hazards, many of which can cause serious health concerns. Keep your pet away from the following:
- Lighter fluid
- Tiki torch fluid
- Citronella candles
- Glow sticks
- Kabob skewers
9: Watch for door-dashers
If you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, guests will be coming and going and may leave doors open. Ensure your pet can’t escape through an open door by safely confining her to a bedroom or crate while you have company.
10: Create a safe haven for your pet
Although people treasure the Fourth of July holiday, it’s stressful for pets. From noisy guests and booming fireworks, to burning hot grills and scorching temperatures, your pet can easily find herself in a scary or dangerous situation. Create a cozy retreat for your pet in a room that, if possible, you soundproof against fireworks explosions and cover the windows to keep out the bright lights. Tell your guests that your pet’s safe haven is off-limits so she can relax undisturbed.
Does your pup panic when bottle rockets pop? Or, does your feline friend flee in fear from fireworks? We can help your furry friend enjoy the holiday as much as you do. Call our office for more information.