Independence Day is right around the corner! While you may want to include your pets in your 4th of July fun, it’s important for all pet parents to be aware of the potential dangers of this summer holiday. This time of the year is the most common time for pets to go missing after loud firework displays or to ingest foods that can be harmful. Check out these tips to help you and your four-legged friends have a safe and petriotic holiday weekend!
- Fireworks: Keep your pets away from any and all fireworks! These explosives contain toxic chemicals that can harm your pet and create noises that can terrify animals. We recommend keeping your pets indoors in a secure, quiet room. Remember that animals can hear things that we can’t, so be mindful of your animal’s behavior. Make sure that your pets are in a safe and enclosed area like a crate or bedroom. You may also want to leave a TV or radio on for them and tune it to a channel or station that is soothing.
- Heatstroke: Temperatures in July can easily reach over 100 degrees. Provide all animals attending holiday festivities with access to the same comforts as your human guests. Remember that your pets don’t wear shoes, so make sure they stay off the hot pavement and concrete. Designate a shaded area for pets and provide plenty of fresh water at all times. Adding a few ice cubes to a bowl of water can make drinking more enticing to help pets stay hydrated.
- Identification & Collar: Make sure your animal is always wearing an updated ID tag and secure collar. We also highly recommend that you have your pet microchipped. Microchips will help ensure the safe return of your pet if it ends up lost during Independence Day festivities. The HSVC offers microchipping services for $15 including registration. We are also offering FREE ID tags now through July 10th to help prevent lost pets. Pet owners should also have a recent photo of their animals handy in case they do escape to help identify them.
- Food & Drinks: Keeping your pet on their normal diet is the safest way to keep them from suffering from any type of food-related illness. Dogs left unsupervised can easily get into things that are potentially hazardous such as bones, twine, & toothpicks. Foods such as onions, avocados, grapes, and yeast dough can be very dangerous to your animal’s health. Keep alcoholic drinks away from your pets! For a full list of potentially dangerous foods for your pets, visit the ASPCA website.
- Insect Repellant & Sunscreen: Do not apply any insect repellant or sunscreen on your animal that is not specifically made for pets! Animals may lick off these topical lotions and become very sick. Insect repellant with the ingredient DEET can cause neurological problems in your animal. Signs that your pet may have ingested one of these include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. Products such as Citronella candles and insect coils should be kept away from animals at all times. If ingested, it can affect their nervous system and even result in death.