The Fourth of July is a picnic for us humans but can be a frightening experience for some pets. Between large family parties and the loud bangs of fireworks, our pets can become anxious and scared. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) wants to help you keep your pet safe during the festivities. Keep reading for their Fourth of July pet safety tips.
1. Prepare for the day by checking the information on your pet’s identification tag. According to Petfinder, more pets get lost on July 4th than on any other day of the year. Make sure all of the contact information is current and accurate.
2. Watch the temperature. Too much sun, heat, and humidity is dangerous for your pet. If it is very hot and humid, keep your pet inside. If outdoors, make sure they have plenty of shade and water. Break times to cool off inside are a good idea, too.
3. If you need to run errands, never leave your pet in the car. The temperature in cars rises to extreme and dangerous levels very quickly. If you plan on making stops, leave your pet at home.
4. Avoid giving your pets table scraps during your barbecue. It’s best to keep your pet away from the grill anyway since it gets very hot. Fatty, greasy foods often served at picnics can give your pet diarrhea or cause vomiting. Some foods are even toxic to pets, like onions, garlic, grapes, and more. Other foods, like corn cobs, can cause an obstruction and require surgery to remove it. The safest way to avoid any of these health issues is to avoid table food altogether.
5. Keep your pet away from the trash can. Food in the trash still smells pretty good to your pet so keep trash in a secure container your pet cannot get to.
6. Keep your pets inside during fireworks and leave them at home if you are attending any fireworks displays. The loud crashes and bangs of fireworks can spook any pet and might scare him into running away. The best way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to keep him inside. You can also provide your pet with a safe space to retreat to during fireworks, like his crate.
7. Never use fireworks around pets. Curious pets might be tempted to investigate fireworks which are dangerous even if not lit. Some fireworks contain toxic substances like arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other heavy metals. Not to mention the hazards of lit fireworks which can cause burns and other severe injuries.
8. Check your yard if your neighbors set off fireworks. Make sure any debris from fireworks is cleaned up before your pet has the opportunity to play with it or eat it. If you had guests, you might also want to check for food scraps and other debris left behind that might be dangerous to pets.
Knowing your pet is comfortable and happy on July 4th will help you relax and enjoy the holiday. Happy Fourth of July!