With the red, white and blue of the Fourth of July you may also be thinking of cookouts, lounging outside with friends and family and of course fireworks. Although this holiday can be relaxing and fun for your family, it can be stressful and scary for your pet. Here are a few tips to keep your pet relaxed and healthy during your Fourth of July festivities.
Watch What They Eat
With so many cookouts planned for the Fourth, it is easy for your pets to hop up and grab themselves a special treat. It is also more tempting to feed your pets a scrap or two from your plate so they feel part of the festivities. Resist these temptations. By keeping your pets away from raw foods and by feeding them their normal diet, you are helping your pet’s digestive system. Changing even one meal for your pet can give them diarrhea or severe indigestion. Plus, there are many common foods that people eat such as onions, chocolate, avocados, grapes and raisons that can be very toxic to animals.
Avoid the Repellent
Bugs can be a nuisance to you and your pet while enjoying the outdoors. However, don’t be tempted to apply bug or insect repellent to your pet unless it specifically says that it is pet-friendly. If your pet ingests this product, they can suffer many side effects such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or excessive thirst. Also products containing DEET can lead to neurological problems in your pets. These same issues can also arise with the use of sunscreen, so please make sure anything you apply to your pet is specifically pet-friendly.
Don’t Leave Alcohol Unattended
Alcohol can be poisonous to your pets. If it is consumed, your pet can become very intoxicated, weak, depressed or even go into a coma. In severe cases, respiratory failure can occur and may even result in death.
Avoid the Fireworks
Not only can loud fireworks scare your pets, making them more likely to run away or hide, the use of home fireworks can pose the risk of burns to your curious pets. Many fireworks contain toxic substances that could be lethal if ingested. If your pet is scared of fireworks, try to make the evening as calm as possible for them. Keep them at home and don’t take them to Fourth of July festivities. Make sure to keep them in an escape-proof area where they can feel safe and out of harm’s way. Play some calming music to drown out the boom of the fireworks and provide them with some familiar items such as their bed or toys to let them feel comforted.
ID Your Pets
With so much commotion and loud noises associated with the Fourth of July, pets may run away or become lost in an attempt to hide. Make sure your pets stay safe and are returned to you if they become lost. Have an identification collar on your pets that clearly has a number to call if they are found. In addition, it is important to microchip your pets. Microchipping your pet takes just minutes to do. It is just a little chip (the size of a grain of rice) that goes under your pet’s skin. If your pet arrives to a shelter or vet’s office, the chip can be scanned and your contact information will pop up allowing them to notify you that they found your pet.
Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 114 years ago, it is the largest and most established “no-kill” animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937- 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.