Follow these important tips to keep your pet safe on the Fourth of July holiday. Many festivities that people enjoy pose real hazards for your dog or cat. And more pets are lost following the Fourth of July than after any other holiday.
Yes, my name is Fido
Proper pet identification is always important. However, it is essential around holidays that pose a risk for your pet to escape the safety of your home.
Best practice is to microchip your pet for permanent identification. At minimum, make sure your pets are wearing secure collars with identification, including your current contact information.
Help your pet beat the heat
Dogs are particularly vulnerable to heat stroke and should never be left outside in the hot weather for extended periods. This is true even for animals who are used to spending a lot of time outdoors. Fireworks and other loud noises can startle them, and cause them to break free of their enclosure in an effort to find safety.
Leave your pet at home
Fireworks are not for pets; period. Leave your pet in an escape-proof area of your home with plenty of good ventilation, fresh water, toys, and soothing music. Consider using an anti-anxiety vest like those from Thundershirt.
If your pet is extremely anxious during fireworks it would be best to have someone stay with her. And speak with your veterinarian about over-the-counter or prescription medications if your pet is prone to anxiety.
People food is…for people
You or your guests might think it is cute when your pet begs for some holiday fixings, but many foods and all alcoholic beverages are poisonous to your pet. In severe cases, an animal can die from respiratory failure. Beer is toxic, too.
Keep your pet on her normal diet, especially older animals who have more sensitive digestive systems.
Ditto on repellants
Bug sprays and sunscreens that are made for human use are dangerous to pets. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and neurological issues. The same is true of citronella candles and insect coils, which release toxins when inhaled.
Keep these and all repellants, salves, ointments, lotions, prescription medications, and other such items securely away from your pet at all times.
Do not pimp out the pet
Glow jewelry and other holiday tchotchkes might be fun for you and the kids, but they pose a choking hazard to your pet. While it may be tempting to bedazzle your dog in a neon glow necklace, a collar and ID tag are the only bling he needs.
Many shelters report a sharp rise in lost and injured pets after the Fourth of July. In fact, shelters receive the highest number of lost pets in the days directly following this holiday.
An influx of lost pets can overwhelm already overburdened animal welfare organizations. And if you cannot be contacted in a timely manner you risk losing your pet for good. In some cases this might be a death sentence for your beloved family pet.
Be kind to your dog or cat by following these simple guidelines, and have a safe Fourth of July! See our article on hot weather pet care for more tips to keep your pets healthy and safe.