It’s the 4th of July again, and that means increased risks for our pets. According to the ASPCA, nearly 1 in 5 pets go missing after being scared by loud noises such as fireworks. PetAmberAlert.com notes that 30% more pets become lost between July 4-6th than any other time of the year. Here are some tips to make the celebrations safe for everyone!
- Travel safely: If you are taking a road trip with your pet, get your pet used to carrier/crates, and seat belts/harnesses in advance. Do not leave your pet alone in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked.
- Stay cool: Dogs and cats can’t sweat, but panting can cause them to get dehydrated. Pets can get overheated quicker, so make sure there is access to plenty of fresh water and shade. Check asphalt with your hand before going for walks to ensure it’s not too hot, and take walks near dawn/dusk to avoid mid day heat.
- Avoid human foods: Barbecues and parties will often present many tempting foods to your pet. Some human foods are not safe for consumption-alcohol, chocolate, onion, garlic, grapes, raisins, and the sugar substitute xylitol are all toxic to pets. Some foods can cause inflammation of the GI tract and pancreas, especially fatty foods. Other foods can pose a GI obstruction risk-fruit pits and corn cobs are two more notable examples.
- Keep windows secured: Often during the summer months we have our windows open to let in the fresh air. Make sure screens are in place and secured to avoid falls and escapes.
- Check harnesses, leashes, and collars: Longer daylight hours and warmer weather often means longer walks and more outside time. Make sure collars and harnesses fit to prevent escape. Make sure ID tags and microchip information are current.
- Keep your pets at home: Most pets get overwhelmed at parties and firework shows, so despite how well behaved they are or how much they love people, safe at home may be the best place for them during the festivities.
- If you’re hosting the party, keep an eye on exits. With multiple people going in and out, pets can get lost in the chaos. Think about putting pets in crates or a separate room, as they will keep them safely confined as well as give them a quiet place to feel safe. Pet sitters or boarding facilities are another option.