Fireworks, parades, BBQs and other Fourth of July traditions can be great fun for people, but for our pets they are often frightening and even dangerous. Help your pets have a Fear Free Fourth with some of these quick tips!
What better way to start the holiday than with a parade? Well, for us anyways! From our pet’s perspective, parades are just a loud and crowded unfamiliar place. Being outside in the heat & humidity can cause them discomfort too! Your pet should NEVER be left alone in a parked vehicle during a parade or event. Even if the windows are open and you happened to find a shady place to park. The safest place for them to be is at home.
BBQs and picnics are in my opinion the best part of the Fourth of July! Unfortunately, they come with too many foods that are not only unhealthy, but often toxic for our pets. It’s best to leave your pets home if you are traveling to a holiday cookout. If you are the one hosting, take extra precautions to ensure you and your pets don’t end up at an emergency vet visit. If possible, leave your pets inside and away from the kitchen. Leave a note on your doors reminding your guests not to let the dog or cat outside when coming and going. Make sure to also remind them not to feed any table scraps. Take care to clean up any outside spills and make sure to dispose of grill debris/grease properly so that your pets don’t get into them later.
Fireworks are extremely loud and noisy for our pets’ sensitive ears. The sudden explosions can cause fear, stress and anxiety that can result in your pet running away to “hide” from the noise. Make sure your pets are in a quiet, secure location before the fireworks start. Turn on a fan, radio, or television to help cover the noise from outside. Offer your pet a long lasting chew or stuffable toy filled with a tasty treat to distract them from the commotion. Use a calming CBD treat or tincture to help ease any anxiety. Make sure that their ID tags on their collars are current and up-to-date. If your pet has a microchip, check that your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date! Check your yard and properly dispose of any debris from fireworks and sparklers.
Accidents do happen, and unfortunately pets go missing (more pets are reported lost on the 4th of July than any other day of the year). Prepare in advance by having a current, full-body photo of your pet on hand. Reach out to your local area humane society, animal control officer, police department, and the Maine Lost Dog Recovery team should your pet go missing. If your pets aren’t already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. A microchip can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back should they become lost!
So as tempting as it may be to include your pets in the holiday festivities, it’s best to leave them home where you know they will be comfortable and safe!