Before you throw another burger on the barbie, please heed a few important tips to keep your pet safe this Fourth of July holiday. Many of the festivities that people enjoy, such as outdoor parties and fireworks, pose real hazards for your pet.
Help your pet beat the heat
Dogs are particularly vulnerable to heat stroke and should never be left outside in the hot weather for extended periods. Even for animals accustomed to spending a lot of time outdoors, fireworks and other loud noises can startle them, and cause them to break free of their enclosure in an effort to find safety. Leave your pet in an escape-proof area of your home with plenty of good ventilation, fresh water, toys and even soothing music to drown out any loud outdoor activities.
People food is…for people
You or your guests might think it’s cute when your pet begs for some holiday fixings, but many foods and all alcoholic beverages are poisonous to your pet. In severe cases, an animal can die from respiratory failure; even beer is toxic. Keep your pet on its normal diet, especially older animals that have more sensitive digestive systems.
Ditto on repellants
Bug sprays and sunscreens made for people are dangerous to pets, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea lethargy and even neurological issues. The same is true of citronella candles and insect coils, which release toxins when inhaled.
Yes, my name is Fido
Proper pet identification is always essential, but never more so than around holidays that carry a high risk for your dog or cat escaping the safety of your home. The standard is to microchip your pet for permanent identification, but at the very least make sure Fido and Fluffy are wearing secure pet collars with identification, including your contact information. Our partners at the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) have a free, universal pet microchip lookup for veterinarians and other pet professionals to check for a lost pet’s owner.
Don’t pimp out the pet
Glow jewelry and other holiday tchotchkes might be fun for you and the kids, but they pose a hazard to your pet if swallowed. Tempting as it might be to deck out your dog in a neon glow necklace, a collar and ID tag are the only bling it really needs.
Many animal welfare organizations across the country report a sharp rise in lost pets after the Fourth of July. Not only does this overwhelm already overburdened shelters and municipal animal controls, but you risk not being reunited with your pet if you can’t be located in a timely manner. In some cases, this might be a death sentence for your beloved family pet.
Be kind to your dog or cat by following these simple guidelines to keep your pet safe, and have a wonderful Fourth of July!
What are your top pet safety tips?