The 4th of July is a very exciting time for us but often not for our pets. Whether you are planning on staying at home and barbecuing with a few friends or heading off to watch the fireworks please take into consideration the following do’s and don’ts to keep your pets safe.

1. FIREWORKS. Keep your pets away from any and all Fireworks! Animals do not associate loud noises and flashing lights with celebration. These noises can startle animals so bad that they can “lose their heads” and become disoriented. Dogs will run away from loud noises and keep going until they can’t run anymore.  Keep your pets indoors if Fireworks are going off in your area. Remember that dogs can hear things that we can’t, so be mindful of your animal’s behavior. Make sure that your pets are in a safe enclosed area like a crate or bedroom.  Do not take your dog to watch the fireworks. Take them to a picnic or dog park instead, that’s more up their ally.

2. FOOD & DRINKS. Keeping your pet on their normal diet is the safest way to keep your animals from suffering from any type of food related illnesses. Dogs left unsupervised at the family picnic can easily get into things that are potentially hazardous such as bones, twine, & toothpicks. Remember that 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!

3. 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 would result in 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.

4. HEAT STROKE. Temperatures in July can reach into the 100’s across the nation.  Since the 4th of July is typically celebrated outdoors make sure that any animals attending the festivities have access to the same comforts as your human guests. Make sure there is a shaded area and plenty of fresh water available at all times. Adding a few ice cubes to a bowl of water can make drinking more enticing to help ensure your pet is staying hydrated.

5. IDENTIFICATION. Make sure your animal is always wearing an ID tag and collar, even if they are an indoor-only animal. Even the best pet owners have animals escape once in a while, so make sure your pets are identifiable. In addition to tags we also recommend that you have your pet microchipped. Microchips ensure that if your pet ends up at a shelter or veterinarian’s office they will be able to call the microchip company, get your contact information and reunite you with your lost animal. Make sure you have a recent photo of your animal handy in case they do escape to help identify them. ID tags can be purchased here at the HSVC for only $5. You can also have your animal microchipped at the HSVC for only $15 dollars!

If you leave your pets at home please make sure they have all the necessary comforts available. Keep all animals indoors in a secure room if possible.  It is important to note that there are dogs out there that could chew through the drywall,  go through a screen or even a glass window if frightened enough, so be mindful of your pet and take their personalities into consideration. If you have an animal that is easily frightened take all the extra precautions necessary to keep them safe.  If you decide to leave a TV or Radio on for them make sure it is tuned to a channel or station that is soothing!

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July from all of us at the HSVC!

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