Like many, you may be planning a day of festivities to take place this holiday weekend. The Fourth of July marks an annual celebration for most that involves barbecuing, spending time outside, celebrating, and watching an exciting display of fireworks. You may be arranging to host the merriment at your house, visiting friends or family, or partaking in a locally hosted or sponsored Fourth of July celebration, but one thing you may not have considered is the safety of your pets.
According to reports presented by the American Humane Association, July 5th, the day after our annual celebration of our country, is the absolute busiest day of the year for animal shelters. Reading that statistic you may be skeptical or at least wondering, “Why?” A press release offered by the Indiana Proactive Animal Welfare, Inc. (PAW) explains that animal shelters are inundated with pets on the 5th of July because the animals “panicked at the noise of firecrackers and fled into the night, winding up lost, injured, or killed.”
While we encourage you to continue making plans to enjoy your Fourth of July weekend, we simply ask you to take a few minutes to consider the safety of your pets, and specifically your dogs, while you do so.
5 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe While You Celebrate
Like many of you, consider our four-legged friends members of our families, which is one reason we include our pets in any of our celebrations. But, the Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA) advises that some festive foods as well as products are actually hazardous to your pet’s health. By following a few simple guidelines, you can keep your dog safe and your holiday happy.
1. Keep your dog indoors when fireworks are in use.
Even if your pet is used to being outside or even familiar with large crowds, the noises and flashes of light that result from fireworks can cause even a trained animal to panic. Keeping your pet inside during the fireworks display is the number one way to keep it safe this holiday.
2. Only use products on your pet that are safe for animal use.
You may be tempted to use sunscreen or bug repellant on your pet to protect it from the sun’s rays or even from an onslaught of bugs. However, even if products are safe for you to use, they may not be safe for your pet. Using sunscreen on your pet could cause such poisonous effects as drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea, and DEET may even cause neurological issues.
3. Keep alcohol out of reach of pets (and children).
While it may seem like a nuisance to make sure your celebratory beverages are out of the way, this practice is another one that is particularly important for your pet. If your dog ingested alcohol, it could become very intoxicated and may even go into a coma or respiratory failure as a result. So, be safe and keep the alcohol away from your pets.
4. Keep lighter fluid and matches in a safe place.
Just like alcohol is potentially dangerous for your pet, so are chlorates, the chemical substances found in some matches and lighter fluid. If ingested, these products can cause your dog issues with breathing, damage to blood cells, and even kidney disease. Make sure these items are in a secure location that your dog cannot access.
5. Make sure your pet is properly identified.
In the unfortunate event that your dog does get loose, it is much easier to get it back if it has the proper identification. At the very least, make sure your dog has an ID tag with its name and your phone number on it.
If you want to enjoy a safe and happy holiday celebration, follow these 5 tips and consider excluding your dog from the festivities, at least for this holiday.
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