4th of July Pet Safety Tips

2017-06-28

It's almost time for 4th of July festivities! While people may find fun and enjoyment during the 4th of July holiday, pets are probably better off kept safe indoors. As you enjoy the 4th of July holiday, keep these important things in mind for your pets:

  • Avoid Bringing Pets Around Fireworks:
    • Some pets can become quite scared during fireworks. They may even try and run off. Keeping them at home in a quiet, escape-proof location will keep them safe.
    • If pets get too close to the fireworks, they can be burned accidentally.
    • Fireworks can contain substances that can harm your pet if ingested.
  • Be Diligent if You Take Your Dog to a Cookout:
    • Food on tables and food scraps on the ground can be too much temptation for dogs to resist. Furthermore, well-meaning people might give food scraps to dogs, especially if they “look so cute” when begging.
    • Eating human food, especially in large quantities or if the food is fatty, can create problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, or even pancreatitis.
  • Never Leave Pets Unattended Around Alcoholic Beverages:
    • If ingested, these beverages can make your pet very ill.
  • Keep Pets Cool:
    • During outdoor activities, be mindful of the temperature.
    • Take steps to keep your pet cool to prevent pets from overheating or developing heat stroke.

Is your dog excessively fearful of fireworks and loud noises? We encourage you to talk with one of our doctors about options to help calm your pet. There are also some things you can work on at home:

  • Distracting your dog during the noise may help. Try leaving the TV or radio on, giving your dog a special toy to play with, or engaging your dog with enjoyable indoor activities.
  • Try and avoid 'babying' your pet when he or she seems scared (e.g. saying “It's ok”, or holding them for comfort). This can actually inadvertently reinforce the fearful response. Instead, try to ignore the fearful behavior, distract your dog with a high value item or game, and then redirect him or her into the fun game or task.
  • Pets don't need to be afraid. If behavior modification alone is not enough, then you should discuss your concerns with one of our veterinarians. There are several medical options available that may help with your pet's noise phobia.

Have fun this 4th of July while also keeping your pet safe!

Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS

Photo credit: Copyright: scamp / 123RF Stock Photo

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