The holiday weekend is a time to kick back, relax and enjoy the festivities, but there are some necessary precautions we need to take to make sure our pets are enjoying the holiday with us and staying safe at the same time.
Microchip and always have a current ID on your pets – this includes name, address, phone number and any pertinent health issues. According to a lost pet recovery survey by the ASPCA, ID Tags and microchips are responsible for the recovery of 15% of lost dogs. While owners searching the streets recovered most lost dogs, the odds of recovering your dog improve greatly if they have proper identification.
Fireworks can be terrifying for dogs and cats and can cause them to run for cover – and for many panicked pets, a fence won’t stop them! The safest place for your pets during 4th of July festivities is inside your home in a secure, pet-safe area with supervision. Exercising your pets earlier in the day can also help to reduce their anxiety later on.
Protecting yourself and your pets from pesky mosquitoes and the harmful UV rays from the summer sun is essential to stay comfortable. Keep insect repellent (including citronella candles and insect coils) and sunscreen out of pets’ reach; most insect repellents are toxic to pets! If you do apply any insect repellents or sunscreen to your pets, make sure that it is labeled specifically for use on animals. Always provide plenty of fresh water and shade.
The 4th of July is the perfect holiday for grilling, but keep an eye out for foods that have the potential to make your pet sick, including onions, garlic, grapes, chocolate, and artificial sweeteners. Discarding food scraps in a pet-proof area or container can prevent your pet from serious illness or injury that can result from pets getting into the trash. Providing your pet with plenty of treats and toys can help to keep them occupied and away from the grill.
Giving your pets alcohol can have dangerous toxic effects – including damage to the nervous system, kidneys and liver. Alcohol toxicity is heavily dependent on body weight, so it doesn’t take much for pets to show symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. That means lock up those liquor cabinets and absolutely never purposefully give your pets alcohol (no matter how strong the beverage!).