Nothing says we love America then colorful fireworks blasting to the tune of the “rockets red glare” and some of our favorite patriotic tunes as we watch in amazement waving our American flags. But before you head out for your 4th of July outdoor celebrations with dog in tow remember safety first. With the 4th of July just around the corner here are some pet safety tips to heed so both you and your dog can have an enjoyable and safe Holiday weekend.
1. NEVER leave dog in unattended parked car. Remember a car can reach high temperatures in minutes even with windows cracked. Heat exposure can result in organ damage, heart problems and sudden death. Partially opened windows on hot days do not provide sufficient air flow but can put your pet in jeopardy of being stolen. So, leave your dog at home if you are considering locking them in the car.
2. Stay Shaded. Like humans dogs can also suffer from heatstroke, so avoid by keeping your dog in shaded areas on very hot and warms days. Remember that dogs swear from the pads of their feet and cool off by panting so they need extra help cooling down in the warm weather. Protect your pet from potentially deadly heatstroke by keeping your pet shaded from the sun when the mercury rises.
3. Stay hydrated! Dehydration is the #1 concern and danger during those long summer heat waves. Make sure you have a generous amount of fresh water on hand to quench your dog’s thirst, especially during and after a good game of 4th of July fetch or Frisbee. Keep a large bowl of water under a shaded tree or pavilion to keep the water cool. Fill the water bowl with half water and half ice.
4. Scaredy Dog. Your dog can become easily frightened by 4th of July fireworks and loud celebrations. Make sure your pet is wearing a properly fitted collar with proper identification & tags just in case your pet becomes scared and runs away from home. Better yet, you might want to have your pet micro-chipped as a precaution to make it easier for your pet to be returned home safely & promptly. Around the 4th of July their appears to be an upsurge in lost pets and strays so keep a watchful eye on your pet whereabouts at all time.
5. Firework-phobic dogs. Knowing your dog’s temperament is half the battle. Fireworks are no blast for some pets, with many dogs becoming easily frightened by unfamiliar loud noises, lightening and thunderstorms. Unfortunately the 4th of July is filled with the deafening sound of loud fireworks bursting with light and loud celebrations. So you can imagine that this can cause some pets to cower, shiver, panic, escape or go in a destructive chewing rampage (put away precious family heirlooms). Leaving your dog indoors (not leashed in the yard) on the 4th of July in a safe, secure, escape proof room of the house with comfy bed, food and water is the safest option. We would advise someone to stay home with the pet, but if your dog is left alone lower the blinds and turn on the tv or radio at normal volume to keep your pet company, this will help to disguise those terrifying loud 4th of July noises. If he is crate trained put him in his crate covered with a blanket to make him feel secure. For preventive measures make sure all doors (doggy doors), windows, and gates are closed and locked securely.
6. Alcohol Free Zone. If you and your dog are invited to any Independence Day picnic or BBQ celebrations remember that alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets so NEVER leave your beverage unattended. If alcohol is ingested, your pet could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. In very severe instances death from respiratory failure caused by alcohol consumption can result.
7. No picnic table and grill scraps. Always be aware of what friends and family are sneaking and forking your dog under the table. While tempting on such a festive occasion, human food (bones, onions, avocado, grapes and raisins) should be off limits at all times to your dog. Some human food may be toxic or dangerous if ingested and cause stomach upset. So advise friends and family to NOT feed your dog table scraps. Like us your vet would advise you to maintain your dog’s normal & strict diet to avoid potential health problems or an emergency run to the vet.
8. 4th of July Decorations. Remember that your pet may easily mistake your red, white and blue decorations and glow sticks as chew toys. So, make sure to dog proof your home and keep fun glow sticks out of paws reach.