While retail stores prep for the Christmas season, animal shelters prep for July 4. It seems obvious, but in the midst of the red, white and blue frenzy, pets often get overwhelmed. It’s hard to keep your furry pals out of the festivities, but it’s important to note the safety hazards that may occur. Below are some tips for your July 4 celebrations and summer cookouts to keep your pets safe and healthy.
Keep Your Pets Away from Fireworks and Sparklers
The sound and chemical effects of fireworks can startle pets and harm their health. In addition to the terror the noise of fireworks might evoke, pets are also more sensitive to the toxins in the smoke released from fireworks. It is not uncommon for startled animals left alone during the festivities to panic and hurt themselves or run away.
If possible, keep your pets in a separate room away from loud noises and music. If you are going to see a fireworks display, leave your pets at home. If you are celebrating at your house, make sure your animals are secure and take the time to check up on them through the night.
Keep Tags Up To Date and Track Your Pets
In the worst case scenario when your frightened dog or cat does escape, make sure you have taken steps to ensure that your pet will be returned home safely. Animals should be wearing collars and their tags should be up-to-date with proper phone numbers, addresses and owners’ names. If your pet is microchipped, make sure all the information listed on the chip is up to date. Vets and shelters always check lost animals for microchips, but they can’t help your pets get home if the listed phone number is inactive.
There are also other forms of technology available to track your pet. For example, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a mobile app that provides a step-by-step emergency pet recovery kit. And, the Pet Amber Alert ID Tag/Pet GPS mimics Amber Alert technology which sends owner information to veterinary hospitals and police stations.
Keep Alcohol and Other Substances Away from Pets
While some people love to share with their pets, you should keep your food and alcohol to yourself. A few licks too many of an alcoholic beverage isn’t fun for your animal. According to the ASPCA, pets can become weak, intoxicated and severely depressed or even go into a coma if they consume too much alcohol. Depending on a dog’s or cat’s size and the beverage’s alcohol concentration, this may not demand a trip to the vet, but alcohol poisoning in pets can be fatal. It is best to err on the side of prevention by keeping alcoholic beverages on tables and surfaces where your pets cannot reach them.
Even the summer essentials can be unassuming hazards – citronella, insect repellent, glow jewelry and table food can all make animals physically ill. This summer, enjoy your festivities and your cookouts while making sure to keep every member of your family safe.