The Fourth of July holiday can be a favorite to many. From pool fun, barbecues, get togethers, and of course – the fireworks! Sometimes we can get so caught up in what we need to do to prepare for the guests or travel, that we forget that this holiday can be downright terrifying for our pets!
All the commotion and noise seeming to come from no where are frightening to pets’ sensitive ears. It can cause them to panic and possibly run away; Holiday foods are not healthy and can cause your pet to get sick; Plus day after debris from fireworks and parties are dangerous things your pet might try to play with, possibly ingesting.
Here is an excellent list we found on the American Veterinary Medical Association website of ways to prepare your pets for the Fourth of July festivities…
- Make sure your pets – cats and dogs alike – have ID tags with up-to-date information.
- If your pets aren’t already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost. Here are some Microchip FAQs here >
- If your pets are microchipped, make sure your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date. Here are ways to check that information here: Microchip Info >
- Take a current photo of all of your cats, dogs and horses – just in case.
- If your pet has historically been anxious on this holiday, or if you have reason to expect potentially harmful reactions, consider behavioral therapy to desensitize your pet and reduce the risk of problems. Some pets may need medication. Consult your veterinarian
- Make sure the environment is safe and secure. If your neighbors set off fireworks at an unexpected time, is your yard secure enough to keep your pet contained? Evaluate your options, and choose the safest area for your animals; and make improvements if needed to make the area more secure.
SAFETY DURING CELEBRATIONS
- Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.
- Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
- If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Placing notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your guests remain vigilant.
- Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.
- Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from curious pets.
- Don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.
- Avoid the urge to feed your pets table scraps or other foods intended for people. Be especially careful to keep them away from these common foods that are actually toxic.
- Remember that too much sun and heat (and humidity!) can be dangerous to pets. Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot/humid; make sure they have access to shady spots and plenty of water when outdoors; don’t leave them outside for extended periods in hot weather; and know the signs that a pet may be overheating.
- Never leave your pet in your car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.
- If you’re traveling out of town for the holiday, consider leaving your pets at home with a pet sitter or boarding them in a kennel. If you need to bring them with you, be sure you know how to keep them safe.
- Follow safe food handling and hygiene practices to protect your family and guests.
AFTER THE CELEBRATIONS
- 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.
- If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.
Please follow these guidelines to ensure your pets have a safe holiday and you can enjoy yours. For the complete list of safety tips, view the full article on the AVMA website here >