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Home DOG GROOMING 10 Pet Safety Tips for the Fourth of July

10 Pet Safety Tips for the Fourth of July

by Bella Woof

As we prepare for a fun-filled 4th of July, it’s important to be aware of all the potential risks to our pets during the festivities. While this vacation is likely to include many potential stressors for our pets, there are steps we can take to minimize the impact.

Here’s how to keep your pets safe this 4th of July.

1. Keep your pet inside

It is best to keep pets indoors during the 4th of July celebrations. For one thing, dogs don’t sweat to cool down like we humans do, making them much more susceptible to overheating. Many dogs also feel overwhelmed or overly excited by a large gathering of people, and some people don’t feel comfortable or safe interacting with dogs.

Keeping your dog in the house is a great first step, but it’s more ideal to have your pet behind a barrier when people are coming in and out of the house. This helps ensure that your pet doesn’t have a chance to run off and get loose. This could be:

2. Create a safe space for your pet

Consider how the excitement of the day may affect your pet. For the most noise-sensitive cats and dogs, a room with the least outdoor exposure and the best sound deadening is likely to be most comfortable for them.

they will appreciate a cozy bed or a familiar place for them to rest, enrichment toys or their favorite chew, and fresh water. Addition of white noise or music to drown out the extra noiseor a pheromone diffuser such as feliway® either Adaptablecan provide additional stress relief.

3. Prepare for noise phobias

If your pet has shown fear, anxiety, or stress with sudden, loud noises in the past, it’s best to start making arrangements for them a few weeks before the 4th of July. This includes discussing his sensitivity with your vet and planning vacations. This may include:

Practicing desensitization and counterconditioning to the sounds of fireworks before the holidays can also help reduce fear. Anxious pets generally shouldn’t be left alone, so it’s also important to hire a pet sitter or make plans to stay with them during the fireworks.

Practicing desensitization and counterconditioning to the sounds of fireworks before the holidays can help reduce fear.

4. Make sure your pet has a current ID

Even when all precautions are taken, accidents can still happen. It is important to ensure that your pet can be easily identified and returned if lost. Having your pet wear a collar with up-to-date contact information can make your prompt return more likely.

Having your animals microchipped, and the microchip registered with all the necessary information, provides an additional method of identification if the collar is lost. It’s also a good idea to have clear, up-to-date photos of your pets in case they go missing.

5. Do not feed your pet

While it can be tempting to share our 4th of July party with our pets, it’s often not safe to do so. Many common backyard barbecue foods carry serious medical risks for both dogs and cats. Beyond the risk of gastrointestinal discomfort, many ingredients are also incredibly toxic to our pets, such as onions, garlic, and grapes.

Dogs cannot digest high-fat foods well, and eating large amounts of snack foods such as brisket or sausage can lead to a very painful condition called pancreatitis. Things like corn on the cob and meat bones present a risk of causing a GI obstruction. If the bones are chewed and splintered, swallowed sharp pieces can cause perforations in the esophagus or intestines. It is best to avoid sharing food with your pet altogether.

6. Keep your pet away from alcohol

Alcohol can be highly toxic to dogs and cats, causing central nervous system depression, organ failure, and even death.

It is important to note that it is not necessary to ingest alcohol for your pets to have a toxic reaction; it can also be absorbed through the skin. For the safety of your pets, any products that contain alcohol should be kept out of their reach.

It is not necessary to ingest alcohol for your pets to have a toxic reaction; it can also be absorbed through the skin.

7. Don’t let your pet play with glow sticks.

Glow sticks are very popular on the 4th of July, but they are not safe for pets. Glow sticks contain the chemical dibutyl phthalate and, while not toxic, when chewed or ingested, glow sticks can cause reactions in dogs and cats, such as:

  • drooling

  • kicking in the mouth

  • Agitation

  • potentially vomiting

8. Keep your pet away from citronella

Citronella is commonly used during the summer as an insect repellent. It can be found in the form of candles, sprays, torches, essential oils, and in plant form. But none of these products is ideal for our pets to be around.

Burning citronella can be a respiratory irritant to pets, and ingestion of the candles can cause severe gastrointestinal upset. Coming in contact with a citronella plant can cause skin irritation in pets, while ingesting the plant can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, and weakness. It is best to prevent our dogs and cats from being near any type of citronella.

9. Be alert for signs of overheating

Pets do not tolerate hot and humid weather well, and high temperatures can put them at risk of overheating. Providing plenty of shade and plenty of cool water are two things we can do to minimize this risk, but it’s important to watch out for signs that our pets are overheating.

Heavy panting, labored breathing, drooling, reddened mucous membranes, and an increased heart rate are possible signs of an overheated pet. Brachycephalic pets, pets with laryngeal paralysis, or pets with other types of respiratory compromise are even more at risk of overheating, so extra precautions must be taken to protect them from the summer heat.

10. Beware of open flames

Firing up the grill for a delicious barbecue is a quintessential 4th of July tradition. Unfortunately, grilling is not a safe activity for our pets to participate in.

All pets must be a minimum of 3 feet away from open flames or hot grills. It is even more ideal that the grill is completely inaccessible to them. Smoke inhalation can cause significant respiratory irritation, so avoid keeping pets downwind of the llamas. Lighter fluid, matches, and lighters are all toxic to our pets, and greasy blobs from the grill aren’t safe for them to lick off, either.

Preparing ahead of time and taking the necessary precautions to ensure the well-being of our pets can allow all of us to have a fun and safe vacation.

Featured Image: Adobe/otsphoto

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