The Fourth of July is the perfect summer celebration - warm weather, a day off work, delicious barbecued food, plus friends, family, and fireworks! It's hard to find a more winning combination which is why it is not a surprise that the Fourth of July is a favorite holiday for many people; for our pets, however, it is a different story. All the excitement, activity, tempting foods, and loud noises can cause stress, sickness, and fear in our furry companions. Here are some tips on how to help your pet stay safe and stress-free on the Fourth of July.
- Set your pet up in a safe and secure room. This is especially important if you are having a party. This room should be off-limits to guests. Set it up so that it is quiet and escape proof with plenty of fresh water. Place their favorite things in the room such as toys and a bed and if you have a cat, make sure to include a litter box. This should be a place for your pet to feel secure when things get noisy as the night goes on. Some people like to leave a TV or radio on to provide familiar sounds for their pet and to help drown out the noise of the fireworks.
- One way to potentially counteract the anxiety a pet may feel during fireworks is to make sure you exercise them and tire them out just before the activities start. Take your dog to a park to run around (as long as it's not too hot) or for a swim in the pool. Use a laser pointer to encourage your kitty to play and run throughout the house. A tired pet is often more relaxed and may be less stressed by the loud noise of fireworks.
- Speaking of fireworks, do not take your dog to a firework display or use street fireworks around them.
- Make sure your pet has a collar with a current ID and is micropchipped! Many pets get scared during fireworks and end up running away. Every year, a large number of lost pets are reported on the Fourth of July. It is common for indoor cats and dogs to slip out an open door during a backyard barbecue or cookout. Collars with current ID tags and a microchip give you that extra layer of protection and ups the odds of a missing pet returning to your loving arms. Microchip placement is a quick and easy procedure done with a technician - call us today to schedule and give yourself peace of mind.
- Beware of barbecue and party food for your pet! Dogs are especially inclined to want to eat people food. There are plenty of dangers that come from pets eating greasy, sugary, and fatty human food - including pancreatitis, a dangerous illness that can lead to several days of hospitalization. Bones present choking hazards as well as possible gastrointestinal obstruction. If you notice your pet acting lethargic and/or vomiting please call us right away. Some human food such as grapes, raisins, onions, alcohol, and anything containing xylitol are toxic to pets. Make sure you let your guests know they are not to feed table scraps to your pets. (Better yet, keep your pets in the aforementioned safe-room!)
- Plan ahead and call your veterinarian this week if you are concerned about your pet's well being during fireworks. They may recommend a mild sedative. Talking with your vet ahead of time allows you to perform a trial run to make sure you know the correct dosage for your pet.
Remember - we are here when you need us! We will be open on July 4th from 8am to 8pm for emergencies and regularly scheduled appointments. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming holiday - being prepared is always the best form of prevention!