For many, Fourth of July is a wonderful summer holiday celebrated with lots of people, fireworks, summer fun and of course barbecue and cookouts, but for our pets, it can be harmful. Here are some tips on how to ensure your Fourth of July festivities are not harming your pets.
Before the Celebrations
The safest thing you can do is keep your pet indoors. There are so many hazards during the holidays that put your pets at risk or frighten them. If you have the option, leave your pet indoors or leave them home while you enjoy the festivities.
If your pet is tagging along for the festivities ensure they have proper identification. Holidays can be very frightening for your pet. Meeting new people and places, as well as the loud noise from fireworks, can have the potential of making your pet run off. Make sure they have proper tags on as well as microchip information up to date to ensure if your pet becomes missing that they can be identified.
Make sure your pet is safe, secure and has access to food/shelter. Whether you’re hosting Fourth of July festivities or if you are going somewhere, making sure your pet has everything they need is important as well. Make sure where you are going has an area that’s safe for your pet. Is there a fence to keep your pet secure? Is there a place for a kennel to keep your pet confined? Make improvements to ensure your pet’s safety. Allow your pet to have access to pet appropriate food as well as water.
Protect your pet from the elements. Make sure your pet has shade from the sun. Animals left out in the heat can easily get heat exhaustion if they do not have proper shade from the extreme heat. Make sure they have access to cool water and do not let your pet stay outside for extended periods of time.
Fourth of July means barbecue and cookouts. Make sure foods they shouldn’t have are not at their level to help themselves. Pets require a certain diet and consistency so when we change up their diet with table scraps it could make them sick. Certain foods can actually be poisonous to your pets as well. Fight the urge to give your pet a “special occasion” treat and know what can be hazardous to your pet.
Insect Repellents/Citronella Candles
Never put insect repellents on your pet that are not labeled correctly for your pet. This can also be a very toxic and hazardous problem for your pet and possibly could cause permanent damage to your pet. Citronella is also very hazardous so don’t leave the candles around for pets to inhale or eat.
Lit fireworks can pose a danger to curious pets and could result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws. Even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Some fireworks contain very harmful toxic substances.
Even if your pet has not been sound sensitive before, it doesn’t mean that can’t change. Pay attention to the behavior of your pet. If needed, put your pet inside to ensure their safety as well as others.
After the Celebrations
Knowing when to schedule a visit to your veterinary office to talk to your veterinarian is very important. If your pet seems to be completely anxious and nothing seems to ease their anxiety, your veterinarian may be able to provide a prescription drug, homeopathic remedies or any other suggestion to help with your pet’s anxiety during holiday seasons.
Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.
Also check your yard for leftover food scraps or debris that also might be hazardous to your pet.
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The holidays deserve to be celebrated and it will be much easier for you and your family to relax and enjoy the celebrations if you’re not worrying about your pet’s health and safety with a little preparation.