Vet Blog

Keeping Your Pets Safe This Fourth of July

June 27, 2018

Barbecues, picnics, a day at the beach or the lake, and of course…fireworks. Fourth of July is that summer family celebration most of us look forward to.

We all love a good old fashioned Fourth of July celebration, and as pretty as the fireworks are with their colors and sparkles, pets don't really associate the loud noises and burning smells with a celebration. Simply put, they're terrified of them and often panic with the whizzing sounds and the loud booms.

To help everyone in your family have a happy Fourth of July, we're sharing a few tips to help you keep your pet safe and sound, while still having a little fun...

Keep your pet inside. We know that most of the activities take place outside, so if possible, keep your pets inside where they're safe and have less of a chance of escaping. If you do have to have your pet outside, make sure someone is with him/her at all times. If you're going to a fireworks display, just leave your pet at home. It will be safer for him/her and you.

Make sure you can identify them. Make sure your pet has on his/her ID tags and that their name and your phone number are on it. If your pet is microchipped, now is a good time to make sure all your information is updated. And it never hurts to take a quick snapshot of your fur baby on your phone to have a current one.

Use only pet-friendly insect repellent. We know it may be more convenient to just spritz your pet with "people" insect repellent, but there's a high risk of harming him/her. What may not be toxic to humans, could be very toxic to animals. Contact your vet to ask for recommendations of what repellent you could use on your pet.

Calming supplements. There are a number of supplements and medications that will help keep your dog or cat relaxed and calm in an environment with loud noises - such as fireworks - even if they are inside. Take a look at some of the products available for cats and dogs, and make sure to speak with your vet about options for your pet.

Watch the food and drinks! Burgers, hot dogs, apple pie…there are a lot of temptations at a Fourth of July celebration, so keep an eye on Fido or Fluffy to make sure they don't sneak a special treat for themselves. A lot of people food is harmful to pets, and some even toxic (alcoholic drinks, chocolate, grapes…). Play it safe and keep the food somewhere that only you and your guests can reach.

Be smart. Yes, we would love to have our pet celebrating with the rest of the family, but be smart about it. Remember - they can all be sneaky when they want something, they can get anxious around crowds or people they don't know, and completely terrified during those loud booms. So, think about what's best for him/her and what will make for a fun, relaxing Fourth of July for all of you!

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