Independence Day is a great time for celebration with friends and family, but may not be our four-legged family members’ favorite time of year. Fireworks and other noisy activities scare many pets and may cause them to try to run or hide. According to pet loss and recovery studies, the number of lost pets increases by about 30% over the 4th of July holiday. Other hazards of the day include gastrointestinal upset from holiday snacks as well as heat exhaustion from over exertion outside.
Here are a few tips for keeping your furry family members safe during the holiday:
Identification: Make sure that all dogs and outdoor cats (when tolerated) have updated ID tags on their collars with correct contact information.
Microchips: Microchips are often vital in connecting a lost pet to their family. If your pet does not yet have a microchip, consult with your veterinarian about having one placed. If your pet does have a microchip, make sure that the contact information is up to date.
Firework Preparation: If your pet is particularly sensitive to loud noises or you know they have anxiety with firework sounds, consult your veterinarian about possible remedies including anti anxiety medications, supplements, or other anti-anxiety measures.
Environmental Safety: Make sure that fences are secured and gates are closed. During celebration, keep sliding doors and windows closed as well to prevent pet escape.
On the 4th of July
Leave Pets at Home: If celebrating away from home, leave your pets at home indoors to keep them safe.
At Home: If celebrating at home and your pets are outdoors with you, make sure that they do not have access to potential toxins such as alcoholic beverages, glow sticks, fire works, bug spray, or sunscreen. Hazards that may cause gastrointestinal upset or more seriously, pancreatitis or a gastrointestinal blockage include corncobs, ribs, hotdogs, hamburgers, or other BBQ leftovers.
Heat Exhaustion: If it is a very warm day, allow pets to spend most of their time indoors and provide plenty of fresh drinking water.
Fireworks: Pets should be kept indoors once fireworks start. If pets are anxious about firework noise, an interior room with no windows may be best. The radio or TV can also be turned on to help cover some of the sounds.
Environmental Safety: Check your yard for any firework debris, trash, or BBQ leftovers before allowing your dog or cat back into the yard.