Before you throw another burger on the barbie, please heed a few important tips to keep your pet safe this Fourth of July holiday.
Many of the festivities that people enjoy pose real hazards for your pet. And more pets are lost following the Fourth of July than after any other holiday.
Yes, my name is Fido
Proper pet identification is always essential, but never more so than around holidays that pose a risk for your pet to escape the safety of your home.
The standard is to microchip your pet for permanent identification, but at the very least make sure Fido and Fluffy are wearing secure pet collars with identification, including your contact information.
Help your pet beat the heat
Dogs are particularly vulnerable to heat stroke and should never be left outside in the hot weather for extended periods. Even for animals accustomed to spending a lot of time outdoors, fireworks and other loud noises can startle them, and cause them to break free of their enclosure in an effort to find safety.
Leave your pet at home
Fireworks are not for pets; period. Leave your pet in an escape-proof area of your home with plenty of good ventilation, fresh water, toys, and soothing music. Consider using an anti-anxiety vest like those from Thundershirt.
If your pet is prone to high anxiety, speak with your veterinarian about over-the-counter or prescription medications that may help.
People food is…for people
You or your guests might think it cute when your pet begs for some holiday fixings, but many foods and all alcoholic beverages are poisonous to your pet. In severe cases, an animal can die from respiratory failure; even beer is toxic.
Keep your pet on her normal diet, especially older animals who have more sensitive digestive systems.
Ditto on repellants
Bug sprays and sunscreens that are made for human use are dangerous to pets. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and neurological issues. The same is true of citronella candles and insect coils, which release toxins when inhaled.
Keep these and all repellants, salves, ointments, lotions, prescription medications and other such items securely away from your pet at all times.
Do not pimp out the pet
Glow jewelry and other holiday tchotchkes might be fun for you and the kids, but they pose a choking hazard to pet. Tempting as it might be to deck out your dog in a neon glow necklace, a collar and ID tag are the only bling he needs.
Many shelters report a sharp rise in lost and injured pets after the Fourth of July. Not only does this overwhelm already overburdened animal welfare organizations, but if you cannot be contacted in a timely manner you risk losing your pet for good. In some cases, this might be a death sentence for your beloved family pet.
Be kind to your dog or cat by following these simple guidelines to keep your pet safe, and have a safe Fourth of July!