Jun 25 2015

Fourth of July safety tips


By Bekka Burton

Nothing beats a boisterous Fourth of July celebration, complete with food, friends, and fireworks. Although many of us love including our four-legged friends in these festivities, it’s important to keep safety top-of-mind during this celebratory day.

Maintain your pet’s normal diet
Yes, we love to give our pups a little nibble of a hot dog or the grizzle from our steak—and we all know how good they are at begging for it—but altering your pet’s diet suddenly and filling him with grill scraps can wreak havoc on his digestive track. Leave the barbecue for the humans to consume and keep animal treats on hand for you and your guests to give to your dog. You could even make homemade dog treats since it’s a special occasion.

Do not leave alcohol unattended
Alcohol can be hazardous to your pet’s health. Be sure your booze stash is safely out of reach of curious dogs and cats who may be a little thirsty and that your pals know not to share their beverages with your pet. Keep your pet’s water bowl full of fresh water and away from the alcohol.

Exercise in the morning
Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean you should be on break from walking duty. Take your dog for a nice long walk or run in the morning before the neighborhood festivities are in full swing. This may also help her stay calm (or asleep!) through the noise of fireworks later on.

Leave your pets at home during the fireworks
Loud explosions and throngs of crowds usually don’t mix with pets. Keep your pets at home, in a safe, escape-proof place indoors with the windows closed. Give your dog a chew toy to distract him. You could even play soft, soothing music to drown out the din of the rocket’s red glare.

Ensure ID tags and microchips are updated
Because there can be so much commotion and revelry on the Fourth of July, be sure your pet has updated ID tags and a microchip in case she does escape the safe surroundings you’ve provided and runs away.

Keep the human stuff for the humans
Things like sparklers, glow sticks, lighter fluid, sunscreen, insect repellent, and citronella candles should be kept out of your pet’s reach.  When it’s time to light the sparklers, put your pet inside.

Some don’t like it hot
July days can be some of the most hot and humid of the year. It’s important that your pet has plenty of shade, water, and a cool place to rest indoors if you have outdoor events planned. Know the warning signs of heatstroke and contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet is overheating.

Following these tips will help you and your pet better enjoy your Independence Day. Happy Fourth of July!

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