10 Pet Tips for 4th of July

Photo: Cheryl Gaynor

Did you know that the 4th of July is the Number 1 day for pet runaways?

This doesn’t have to be the case. There are steps you can take to protect your pets and reduce their stress and anxiety; advance preparation is the key. Whether or not you’re planning your own Independence Day celebration, it’s important to take precautions to keep your pets safe both during and after the 4th of July festivities.

Advance Preparation:

  • ID: Before the celebrations begin, be sure that your pet’s ID tags and microchips are updated. If you haven’t already done so, consider microchipping your pet. You can discuss this with your veterinarian.
  • Photo: Take a current photo of your pets to have on hand just in case something were to happen.
  • Secure: Be sure your yard is safe and secure for your pets as some people like to celebrate over several days.
  • Know: Contact your local municipality to find out when fireworks are expected.

4th of July:

  1. Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades, and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places, and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s a great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.
  2. Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
  3. Exercise your pet earlier in the day to ensure that he rests during the big event.
  4. Provide food and water as it can calm your pet down.
  5. If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Placing notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your guests remain vigilant.
  6. Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.
  7. Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from curious pets.
  8. Don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.
  9. Avoid the urge to feed your pets table scraps or other foods intended for people.
  10. Try Calming Aids such as calming shirts or herbal aids.

After the celebrations:

  • Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.
  • Check your pastures and remove debris to protect horses and livestock.
  • If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.

If you are interested in more information about protecting your pets during the 4th of July holiday, the AVMA offers a podcast with more helpful tips.  Braxton’s Animal Works offers a variety of calming remedies and devices to help your cats and dogs survive this holiday.

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