The 4th of July is a time to celebrate with family! Well, most of the family… Please do not include your pets in the festivities.
Many folks can’t celebrate the 4th without shooting off a few fireworks. You may have a no fireworks rule, but trust me, you neighbors probably do not. Pets are best kept safe, indoors, away from the festivities. There are many hazards on the 4th – food that may be unattended, hot grills, open fire pits, kids with glow sticks that are not appropriate for pets, very warm temperatures, and of course fireworks.
To prevent tummy upset in your pet, it is best to keep them to their normal diet. They really don’t need the chips, pasta salads, and hot dogs typically served on the 4th. Corn on the cob can be particularly problematic for our pets, so stick with the kibble and their normal treats to keep the furry ones healthy!
Fireworks are not just a problem when the large displays are being set off, those loud booming noises coming from the neighbor’s house all day is terrifying to most pets. Pets are best kept inside the house on the 4th. If left in a yard, when a pet becomes frightened, they may try to run to get away. It is common for dogs to tunnel under, or go right over fences in order to find a safe place to hide. Thousands of pets go missing on the 4th every year – keep your pets inside, and know what their safe place is in the house. It may be a kennel, a closet, or a bathroom. Many pets find laying behind the toilet soothing, as it is a cool place for them when they are stressed. I once left my bedroom door closed, not realizing my dogs considered my bedroom their ‘safety zone’. When I came home that day, I really couldn’t process what I was seeing. There was a pile of rubble at the end of the hallway – like a bomb went off. It looked like a pile of toothpicks! As I went closer, I realized that my dogs had eaten through my bedroom door to get away from what was scaring them – and to get into their safety zone. I felt just awful, and was horribly worried about the damage they caused to themselves scratching and eating their way through that door. Don’t let this happen to you – or your pet! If there are measures you take during thunderstorms, do the same on the 4th. Many folks use essential oils, a Thunder Shirt, Pet Rescue Remedy, or DAP to help soothe anxiety. With our clients, we try to keep windows and doors closed, and put on a TV or radio to block out the noises coming from outside. That noise barrier goes a long way in keeping the pets in our care calm on the 4th.
It is best to keep the kids inside so they don’t bolt and get lost. If you have them with you outside, make sure they have ID tags and/or a microchip. Please do not attend a fireworks display with your pet. They will not enjoy the crowds or the fireworks, and could easily end up getting lost. Whatever you do – do not leave your pet in the car! Pets easily overheat in parked cars even on days you may feel are safe. It can spell disaster for your pet – even death.
If your pet is around fireworks, please take care to keep them out of harms way. Fireworks like sparklers or those that swirl around on the ground can cause your pet to chase them. Once caught, your pet can suffer the same injuries that people do. Live fireworks will burn your pet, they can cause severe trauma to the paws and mouth, and eye injuries resulting in blindness. Fireworks are also toxic. Some contain arsenic, and heavy metals that can kill your pet if ingested.
Save yourself an emergency trip to the Vet, and take extra care with your pet this week! We love your fur kids too, and we want them to be happy and safe!
Thank you to mypetmd.com, and the ASPCA for some of the tips in this post!