Independence Day is a day for friends, sunshine, barbecues, and fireworks — and we’re sure you’ll want to include your fur babies in the festivities too! While it may be fun to spend the day with your dogs and cats, it’s essential to take into account what potential dangers may arise during Independence Day celebrations for your pet. We have prepared some tips to ensure that you and your furry friends have a fun but safe holiday!
Be Wary of Hot Pavement
THE 7 SECOND RULE: Press the back of your hand or bare foot against the ground for 7 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
Avoid Feeding Them Table food
Try to avoid the urge to feed your pets table scraps or other food intended for people. Many common table foods (like grapes, raisins, and onions) are foods that people may not realize are toxic for their pets.
Watch for Signs of Overheating
Too much sun, heat, and humidity can be hazardous to pets. Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot. If they are outside, make sure they have plenty of cool, fresh water and have free access to shady spots. Please don’t leave them out for extended periods, and know the signs that your pet may be overheating, as well as what to do if you see it (click here).
Remove Debris From the Yard
During and after the celebration, check your yard for fireworks debris and picnic trash before allowing your pets to play outside. Debris could make its way into your yard even if you did not set off fireworks yourself. Curious animals may want to pick it up to play with or eat.
Don’t Leave Your Pet In The Car
Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them. Even with the windows cracked, a car’s temperature can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit in just a few minutes on an 85-degree day.
Keep Away From Toxic Chemicals
Insecticides, insect repellents, sunscreen, citronella products, and glow sticks — items commonly used on Independence Day — are indeed toxic to your pets. Make sure to keep them away from those chemicals!
More pets go missing on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year due to animals who panic and flee from the holiday celebration’s bright lights and loud noises. Let’s work to change these statistics! Below are some tips and tricks to ensure that the day is stress-free for you and your four-legged friends.
Update Their IDs and Microchips
Make sure to update your pet’s identification tags and microchips in case the worst happens and they escape through a cracked door, window screen, etc.
Keep Your Pets Secured in Your House
Make sure your house is truly safe and secure. Walk your dog before the fireworks begin and keep them inside the house. Lock all doors and windows to ensure there is no panic escape route for your pets if they get startled.
Consider Behavioral Therapy
If you know that your pet is naturally anxious and will most likely become very stressed from the loud sounds of the fireworks, talk to your vet about potentially receiving calming medication to help ease your pet’s anxiety. You may also want to look into products like ThunderShirts to help with sudden loud noises.
Offer your pets a special chew or toy to distract them. Turn on the TV or (calming) music to help mask the loud noises happening outside. Provide a bed or crate where they feel comfortable.
Draw the Curtains
Light flashes and flickering can escalate your dog or cat’s anxiety. Minimize exposure to fireworks flashes by blocking windows or taking your pets to a room with limited windows. Turn on the lights in your house to decrease the contract of light changes.
Go about your routine as much as possible. Since pets take cues from their humans, your anxiety could heighten theirs. Do your absolute best to continue with your evening as if it is no different than any other day.
With these tips and tricks, we are confident that you and your pet will have a happier, safer Independence Day!