Four Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe This 4th of July

1.   Prepare for Fireworks

pets, fireworks, pets afraid of fireworks, firework anxiety, dogsThe Fourth of July is one of the highlights of the summer, and its crowning glory is fireworks!   While we are “oohing” and “ahhing” over the colorful display, many of our pets are terrified by the loud booms and flashing lights in the sky.   The safest place for potentially frightened pets is inside at home.

  • Keep your pet in a room where they are comfortable and used to being.   Only use a cage or crate if your pet already feels safe there.
  • Leave them with familiar things like blankets and toys (as long as they don’t have a tendency to chew!)
  • Be sure to give them fresh water and leave a litter box for cats!
  • Keep windows and doors closed and leave a TV or radio on to help muffle outside noises.
  • Give your pet a distraction, like a new bone or a Kong stuffed with treats.

If your pet is extremely stressed or anxious during fireworks talk to your veterinarian about whether or not a mild sedative is in order.  If you decide to sedate your pet be sure to do a trial run before the big day to see how your pet will react!

2.   Make sure your pets have their ID on them!

ALL pets should have some form of identification.  We cannot stress this enough!  Animal shelters and humane societies across the country report that the Fourth of July is their busiest time of the year.  In other words, more pets get lost or go missing on or around the Fourth than any other time.  Without identification, returning a pet to its owners is more often than not an uphill battle.

  • All dogs and outdoor cats should have a properly fitted collar with an identification tag containing the pet’s address and contact number(s) for the owners!
  • If we had it our way, EVERY pet would have a microchip!   Collars can slip off, tags can get lost, but a microchip is permanent.  It’s never too late to have your pet microchipped!  All it takes is a few minutes for one of our licensed veterinary technicians to place a microchip with a quick injection for years of peace of mind.

If your dog cannot stay home alone, make sure he or she stays on a leash with you at all times.  Make sure all of your guests are aware of your pets and don’t let them slip out the door.  If pets are confined to a separate room, hang a sign reminding your guests to keep that door closed!

3.   Keep your pets off the picnic guest list!pets, dogs, people food, intestinal blockage, vomiting, diarrhea, toxicity

Remember, party food = people food. Here are three big reasons not to share with your pets:

  • Toxicity:   Foods like grapes, onions, chocolate (just to name a few!) are actually poisonous to pets!
  • GI upset:   Rich, fatty foods can cause upset stomachs, vomiting, diarrhea and even pancreatitis.
  • Intestinal blockage:   Bones and corn on the cob are two big culprits known to cause a blockage in the stomach or intestinal tract.  This is a life threatening emergency situation that can result in pricey surgery.

Your safest bet is to let your pets celebrate with treats that are made just for them!

4.   Keep novelty firecrackers and other party favors away from pets!

Sparklers, smoke bombs, spinners and snakes are fun to play with in the driveway or the backyard, but can cause major problems for your pets if they get hold of them.  Dogs and cats are at risk for burns, intestinal blockage and toxicity if they get too curious.  Keep glow sticks and glow jewelry away from pets as well.  While the glowing liquid does not tend to be toxic to pets, it can cause GI upset and excessive drooling.  Instead of a red, white and blue glow necklace, spruce your dog up and help him feel festive with an American flag bandanna like Levi is sporting in the photos above!

As always, if you have any questions about keeping your pets safe and healthy this holiday weekend, call us at (585)624-2240 or email us at mvah@rochester.rr.com.