4th of July Pet Safety Tips
Every year hundreds of pets throughout the country are lost or injured during 4th of July Celebrations. Here are five tips you can follow to help keep them safe and stress-free.
1.Keep your pets indoors
Though most of us consider fireworks to be the highlight of the evening, many pets are terrified of them. The bright lights and loud noises can unnerve pets and frightened animals will often escape in order to get away. Runaway pets can become lost or get hit by a car. To keep your pet safe and stress-free during a fireworks display, be sure to keep them indoors, preferably in a secure and comfortable room.
2.Keep your pets busy
Give your pet their favorite toy or a new chew toy to keep them focused on something beside the loud noise and bright lights.
3.Create soothing sounds
Turning on the TV or radio can help drown out loud and scary noises outside.
Consider trying an over-the-counter dog pheromone product or one of the numerous calming shirts available. Pheromone products can help decrease anxiety in some dogs. Calming shirts wrap snugly around your pet giving them constant, gentle pressure designed to soothe them just like swaddling soothes a baby.
5.Speak with your veterinarian about medications
If you have a pet that becomes very stressed or agitated by fireworks despite your best efforts, speak with your veterinarian about medications that may help. There are a number of medications available to help decrease anxiety and help keep your pet relaxed. Your veterinarian will determine which medication is appropriate for your pet.
6.Watch out for food that can be harmful to pets
The 4th of July is known for apple pie and BBQ’s, but even delicious holiday food can be hazardous for your pets. Keep your pets away from hot BBQ grills that can easily burn them, especially if they are tempted by what’s cooking on the grill. Animals should never have access to chocolate or alcohol. Bones, except for those specially treated and intended for canine consumption, should also be avoided. Poultry bones can splinter and get lodged in the gastrointestinal tract. Ham and beef bones can break teeth or cause intestinal obstructions. Though tempting, and always appealing to dogs, you should avoid giving your pet leftovers. Not only can this lead to obesity and encourage the annoying habit of begging, it can cause a pancreatitis attack. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas usually caused by fatty foods. It is a serious condition that can be fatal if untreated.
7.Be sure all pets have ID tags and microchips
All of your pets should have collars with ID tags and microchips, even indoor-only cats. A door or gate could be left open accidentally during 4th of July BBQ, or your pet can escape if they become frightened during a fireworks display. Collars with ID tags and microchips are the best way to ensure that if your pet gets lost, he or she will be returned to you. And of course be sure all of your information is correct and current.
8.Know what to do If your pet gets lost
What should you do if your pet gets lost? Walk or drive around your neighborhood to look for them. Be sure to call out their name but they may not come to you if they are frightened. Contact your local shelters and call nearby veterinary clinics as soon as possible. Make flyers with your pet’s picture and post these around the neighborhood, on neighborhood apps, in local pet stores and veterinary clinics, and around retail stores with high foot traffic, like grocery stores.
Follow these tips so that you and your pets can have a safe and fun 4th of July!