Pet Safety During the 4th of July

With your entire family planning to gather around the barbecue and enjoying the sunshine on the Independence holiday coming up, keeping an eye on everyone can get overwhelming. Fortunately, there are several easy steps you can take to make sure everyone has a good time, including your pets:

Realize That Not Everyone Will Enjoy the Fireworks Display:
While it might seem like a special occasion to you, some family members may be miserable once the sun sets and the cracklers come out; namely some veterans, animals, and very small children. So that everyone can enjoy their time watching the display, consider leaving these family members at home where they will be most comfortable. Your dog may be calm now, but they will head for the hills once the thunder and light show starts. Try letting themselves get worn out during the day at the barbecue or beach so that they are happy to be put to bed early, if only for this one day.

Prepare Your Furry Family Members A Comfy Hidey-hole:
For those family pets who normally enjoy their time outdoors, this holiday is a good time to bring them in to a cozy space with plenty of comfortable bedding. The fifth of July is when most pets are reported missing, most of which were enclosed in a fenced yard or tied out on a cable during the Independence celebrations. Keeping them indoors will ensure they don’t escape while you are out celebrating. Also ensure that all exits are secured so that screen doors or windows do not fall prey to an over-excited pooch looking for an escape.

Just in Case They Do Escape, Have A Plan in Place:
Does your pet have a microchip? Make sure to update your information listed in the microchip database so they can be returned to you quickly in the event they do get away. If you do not have a recent photo of your pet in order to identify them, now is the best time to get one taken. Be prepared just in case they manage to escape out the screen door or fence, you never know when you might need to go running after them.

Keep Their Paws (and Mouths) Busy:
So, now that you know to keep your pets in a safe and secure area inside your home, it’s time to supply them with something to keep themselves occupied while scary sounds are happening. Peanut butter Kongs, frozen chicken stock cubes, a new squeaky fluffy, or a new mouse catching toy will keep your pet engaged and busy so that they are not anxiously waiting. Not only dogs dislike the loud sounds found on the Fourth of July, so don’t forget your cats and other small mammals inside your home. Provide appropriately sized hiding spaces for all your animals, play ambient sounds like a TV or radio, and plenty of soft blankets for them to cuddle in (although maybe not together).

Consider Medication a Last Resort:
While it might seem simple to just tranquilize Fluffy for a few hours during the entertainment, sedation should not be taken lightly. If not prescribed by a veterinarian there can be severe consequences that can harm the health of your pet. In some cases, especially when the pet is known to harm themselves or others during their panic, your veterinarian may prescribe a light tranquilizer to dull their response to the thunder. See your veterinarian this week if you feel your pet falls into this category, but please do not attempt to medicate your dog without professional guidance. Some alternative methods can be just as effective in less severe cases, such as DAP diffusers, which calm your pets with natural pheromones in a safe manner.

Most of all, remember you know your pets best, so you know how to keep them calm and safe in a way that allows you both to enjoy the holiday. If you are planning a trip away from home or would like some help preparing your pet for this special day, please speak to the pet professionals at Paula’s Pet Sitting in Midland.

Do you have any special plans for the holidays? We’d love to hear what your 4th of July traditions are, please let us know in the comments!

Blog author Lauren Pescarus is an admitted Cat Person who admires all pets from afar. She lives at home in Romania with her husband, and loves to buy things for the pets she will soon convince her lucky spouse to bring home. For more information about Lauren’s writing services, follow this LINK.

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