July 4th is one of my favorite holidays. I love spending times with friends and family, attending BBQs, hanging by the pool, and, of course, fireworks! But it’s important to remember that for pets, the Fourth of July can be a very scary, and even dangerous time. With that in mind, we would like to share some safety tips to help keep your furry loved ones safe.
First and foremost, please leave your pets at home during firework festivities. Even dogs that are normally calm and well-adjusted in public places can be spooked by the sound of fireworks, and the crowds of revelers can make it incredibly difficult to locate your pet should they run away in a panic.
While your pets are home, ensure that they have a safe, comfortable place they can retreat to should they get frightened. For some pets, this means a crate or a closet. For others, it may be a bedroom or a bathroom. Give them comfortable bedding, and a place they can hide if they choose to. Leaving them with a favorite treat or toy can also be helpful.
Make sure your pets have proper identification. I do not normally keep a collar on my dog inside the house, but I make an exception on July 4th, in the event he manages to escape the house through an opened door in a panic. I also use the 4th as a good reminder to ensure that his microchip information is up to date. More pets get lost on Independence Day than any other day of the year, and you want to make sure there is every possible tool available to help get them home.
Another popular way many people celebrate the 4th is by grilling with their friends, families and neighbors. While it is tempting to allow your pets table scraps (hey, it’s a holiday, they should be able to celebrate, too, right?), please remember that many common foods are toxic to dogs (such as garlic and onions). Additionally, many pets end up with an upset stomach when they eat foods not normally in their diets, and in cases where they ingest rich, fatty foods, they can even end up with dangerous conditions like pancreatitis. And always, always, always remember that any amount of alcohol is toxic to pets! Be careful to promptly clean up any spilled drinks so your pets are not able to ingest any, and remind guests that your pets can not share their drinks. If you want to let your pets in on the festivities, you can give them one of their own treats, or a piece of unseasoned lean meat, like plain, grilled chicken breast.
If you follow these safety tips, the 4th of July can still be an enjoyable holiday for you and your loved ones, while minimizing the risks for your pets. BVC wishes everyone and their furry loved ones a safe and happy holiday!