Before celebrating Independence Day with a bang, think about keeping pets safe on the 4th of July. July Fourth can be a very frightening time for animals, and as a result of the noise, flashing lights, and general hullabaloo, many pets are prone to panicking and running away from home. In fact, the American Humane Association reports that the day after Independence Day is the busiest day of the year for shelters because of all the lost, scared pets roaming the streets.
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What's more, burn injuries (among both people and pets) and poisoning can also occur if you're not careful! Prevent your pet from freaking out with these Fourth of July pet tips so your day is filled with nothing but fun and festivity.
Keep your pet securely indoors
First and foremost, your goal should be to keep your pets' anxiety levels to a minimum, and the best way to do that is to keep them in a place where the flashes, pops, and booms won't be so pronounced—which, in most circumstances, would mean indoors. Keep your dog in a space where they will feel safe (like a crate) away from windows and doors where they can see fireworks.
Put familiar items near your pet (like toys or blankets) and then turn on a fan, the television, the radio, or anything else that may drown out the noise. You can even comfort your dog by staying with them and giving them lots of pets and cuddles. Also, make sure to leave no possible escape route, should your panicked pet attempt to bolt.
Be prepared for a "runaway" situation
Even if you've taken every precaution, there is still the chance on the 4th of July, pets will escape. If this occurs, you're going to be very glad that you took the time to get them microchipped and that you updated the contact information on their ID tags. Better safe than sorry!
Never set fireworks off near pets
If you love colorful sparks and loud pops, more power to you! Set off fireworks to your heart's content, just make sure that your pets aren't around to see or hear the display. Not only are fireworks frightening, but there's always the danger of something going awry, resulting in severe burns to both pets and people. Also, fireworks contain toxic substances and heavy metals that can be deadly to animals if ingested.
Keep alcoholic beverages away
Alcoholic drinks can induce respiratory failure and coma in animals, so keep the beer and liquor away from your animals. If your dog does drink alcohol, give your vet a call.
Keep pets away from the barbecue
Keep pets away from the harmful objects used while grilling, like matches, lighter fluid, and "quick light" charcoal containing lighter fluid. Even favorite barbecued foods like burgers, fried chicken, hot dogs, and sauce-smothered ribs can pose a threat to dogs in the form of indigestion and stomach upset. Additionally, it's very important that you keep all condiments away from your pets, as they often contain onions and garlic—two foods that are toxic to dogs and cats.
Watch pets closely when around water
Even if your pets can swim, it's always a good idea to supervise them if you're celebrating the day near a body of water (including pools, lakes, or the beach). If you plan to take them out on a boat, you need to dress them in an animal life vest.
On the 4th of July, pets deserve to have a happy and safe day. By following these tips on the 4th of July pet safety, you and your furry family members will have a great celebration.