4th of July is here! We know you’re as excited about this holiday as we are, but your pets may not be as jazzed for the holiday. We wanted to provide some helpful tips to get you and your pup ready (and safe) for this fun holiday!
Make sure your pup has a tag. Having an ID tag on your pup’s collar is not only important for day-to-day use, but especially important for holidays! Be sure that your pup’s tag has up-to-date information before the big holiday. This way, in the unfortunate event that they get lost, they can be returned to you promptly!If you encounter a lost pet, check to see if they have an ID tag. If they do, contact their owner, if they don’t, we recommend you take them to your local animal shelter – they’ll have the best chance of being reunited with their owners there. Each year, animal shelters across the country are prepared for receiving “4th of July dogs” that run off during fireworks celebrations.
Refrain from feeding pets human food and drinks. Although we know you want everyone to try your amazing BBQ or refreshing margarita, we advise you to keep your pup out of this taste test, as any change in a pet’s diet can result in indigestion and diarrhea – yuck! Foods like onions, chocolate, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough and drinks like alcohol and coffee are especially harmful and can be potentially toxic to animals. Ingestion of alcohol may cause intoxication and weakness that could lead to a coma and/or respiratory failure. The secret to making your pups happy while you and your guest feast? Have some yummy dog treats on hand – if your friends want to feed your pup, give them these!
Only apply sunscreen or insect repellent on dogs if it is specifically labeled for use on animals. If your pup eats any sunscreen and insect repellent that isn’t for animals, there’s a chance they can vomit, have diarrhea, have excessive thirst and drooling. Insect repellents that contain DEET are especially harmful and can lead to neurological problems.
Don’t let pups near matches and/or lighter fluid. Many types of matches contain chlorates, which if ingested can damage blood cells and lead to difficulty breathing, with the most severe cases resulting in kidney disease. Lighter fluid is also very harmful. It can cause skin irritation and if ingested, gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop. Moral of the story: don’t have matches or lighter fluid near your pup!
Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products away from pets. If a pet were to ingest any one of these products, it can lead to stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. Much like lighter fluid, when these oils are inhaled they can cause aspiration pneumonia.
NEVER leave your pets alone in a vehicle on hot days. Leaving the windows down and/or parking in the shade is not good enough! Temperatures rise very quickly inside a car and since dogs sweat differently than humans, they are not able to cool themselves down enough and can suffer from serious health effects, even death. Many states have made it illegal to leave a pet in a car during extreme weather. Think about how hot you are in your car when the A/C is off – it’s 10 times worse for your pup!
Never use fireworks around pets. Dogs can possibly suffer from severe burns and /or trauma if they get too close to any fireworks, whether or not they are used because fireworks contain toxic substances including arsenic, potassium nitrate and other heavy metals. The noise and sight of fireworks displays can also freak pets out, leading to anxiety and distress. Most pets will try to get away from the noise so it is best to them in a safe and secure place, preferably at home. If you decide to have your pup join you during the fireworks show, we recommend wrapping them up in a blanket or a compressed shirt, like a Thundershirt, which can help relieve anxiety.
Bonus! Extra ways to get your pup prepped for the big day. If your pet is prone to anxiety, ask your vet about ways to alleviate stress and anxiety prior to the holiday festivities. If you’re more into natural remedies, there are many natural calming products that may help with your pup’s anxiety. We also recommend exercising your dog early in the day, whether they are prone to anxiety or not. Make sure that any off-leash time is securely fenced and any walks have a good leash as some people may set off fireworks before dark.
We hope these tips are helpful, and wish you and your pets a Happy 4th of July!