The fourth of July can be a lot of fun for people, but fireworks, picnics, and parties can all be stressful and even dangerous for pets. If your pet is frightened by noisy fireworks, he may run away in an attempt to escape; some holiday foods may be harmful as well. Traveling and summer heat can be perilous, as can firework debris left lying around that your pet may try to play with or eat. This year, make July 4th fun and safe for everyone involved – even your pets.
Before the Party
Before the celebration begins, make sure your dogs and cats have up-to-date identification tags with your contact information in case they do run off. In addition, it’s a good idea to have your dog or cat microchipped as well. The use of microchips is responsible for returning many lost animals to their worried owners. You should also take a current photo of your pets to have just in case. If you already know that fireworks make your pet anxious, speak with your vet about medication or behavioral therapy to make the holiday less scary. Finally, secure the area well, making sure that all fences and gates are closed or that the doors inside your home are shut to keep your pet confined to a safe area.
During the Celebration
When it’s time to party, take steps to keep your pets safe while you and your family and friends have a blast. First of all, if you’re going to a parade, fireworks display, party, or other gathering, leave your pets at home. Many people think it’s fun to take their pets with them to these types of events, but the noise, crowds, and unfamiliar surroundings can all be frightening, and your pet may get spooked and run away. Leave your pet at home in a safe, comfortable room during parties. Your dog or cat will be much happier snuggled up in their J’adore custom pet bed with a few safe treats. If you are expecting guests, place a note on the door reminding them to leave the room closed off.
If your pet doesn’t need to be kept in a separate room during the party, it’s still essential that you take some steps to keep them safe. Keep all fireworks, sparklers, charcoal, and skewers away from your pet, and don’t allow your pet to go near a hot grill (remember that it may remain hot for a long time after use).
Holidays often include lots of delicious food, but some of it isn’t safe for your pets. Avoid feeding your pets table scraps or foods intended for your human guests. Chocolate, onions, grapes, avocados, and foods containing xylitol are some of the things your pets shouldn’t eat. However, that doesn’t mean your pets can’t enjoy some treats, too – just stick to foods that are good for them such as berries, carrots, cucumber, and lean meats. You can also prepare some treats especially for your pet such as homemade cookies (use a recipe intended for dogs or cats) or frozen peanut butter inside a Kong.
Remember to keep your pets cool; the summer heat can be dangerous for cats and dogs alike. Make sure that they always have access to fresh water and never leave them inside a vehicle when it’s warm out.
When the party’s over, check your yard carefully for fireworks, food scraps, and anything else that might tempt a curious pet. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks on your property, neighbors may have, and their debris can make its way into your yard.
With a little preparation and common sense, your pets can have just as much fun this fourth of July as you do – and stay safe, happy, and healthy doing it.