The Fourth of July can be a fun time to celebrate with family and friends, but it’s not always the most fun for our pets. It can be a frightening time of year for our pets and can even be dangerous for animals.
Fireworks and celebrations can startle animals and cause them to run away, the food at festivities can make our pets sick, and heat can be dangerous.
Thankfully, there are precautions you can take beforehand and measures you can take during festivities to ensure your pet has a safe and healthy holiday. Check them out below!
General Fourth of July Holiday Safety Preparation:
1. Make sure your pet has an ID tag with up to date information.
2. If your pet isn’t already microchipped, talk to your vet about doing so. If something happens to your pet’s collar and/or tags, a microchip is a form of ID that is always with them. It is the single most important way to ensure a lost pet returns home.
3. If your pet is microchipped, make sure your contact information is up to date and accurate in the microchip registry.
4. Take a photo of your pet. In the event that your pet is lost, having an up to date picture to put on fliers or social media will help others to know what your pet looks like now.
5. If your pet needs the help of medications during anxious events, make sure you have plenty on hand. If you need more, make sure you call your vet in advance to ensure you won’t run out. Give all medications as instructed by your veterinarian.
Safety During Fourth of July Celebrations:
1. Consider leaving your pets at home if you’re going to parties, parades, fireworks displays, or other gatherings. The unpredictability of being in a new environment can complicate a pet’s anxiety and increases the risks of pets becoming spooked and running off.
2. If you have people over, alert your guests to the pets in your home and ask them for their help in keeping them safe. If you’re having guests over, make sure they know that you have pets and that they are to stay indoors. Ask them to keep an eye out so they don’t escape, placing notes on doors and gates to remind your guests to remain vigilant.
3. Remind guests not to feed your pet table scraps or food intended for other people. These can cause dietary indiscretion and sickness if your pet gets too much food or the wrong food. Some foods are even toxic to pets.
4. Be mindful of the heat and sun. If you’re having an outdoor celebration, the heat can be dangerous to pets. Keep them indoors on extremely hot and humid days, and if they do go outside, ensure they’re not outdoors for extended periods of time. Know the signs of heatstroke (https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/healthcare/heat-exhaustion-in-dogs) and what action to take if your dog becomes overheated.
Safety During Fireworks: :
1. Keep your pets indoors. The chance for a frightened pet to escape is much higher if they are outdoors.
2. Once indoors, make sure your pet is in a safe and secure environment. Even indoors, there have been stories of alarmed animals escaping, so ensuring that your pet is in a secure place is important. During get-togethers or fireworks, keep your pet in a safe, escape-proof room or crate.
3. Make your pet’s space comfortable and relaxing. Playing calm music can offer a great distraction and can drown out the noise from loud fireworks, as can giving your pet a treat-filled Kong to help distract them from what’s going on outside. Does your pet have a favorite blanket, toy, or stuffed animal? Keep those nearby, too!
We hope this helps you and your pets to have a safe and stress-free Fourth of July! If your pet requires medication to help them cope with the stresses of this time of year and needs a refill, please call us at 540-776-0700. Happy Fourth of July!