It’s July, which means lots of festivities on the fourth.  This can be great fun for people but it can also be hazardous for our pets.  In fact, July 5th is the busiest day of the year for shelters.  To prevent your fur baby from becoming a statistic and make your day more enjoyable, we’ve assembled some tips to help keep your pets happy and safe on the 4th

Things to do in advance: 

  •   Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with an identification tag.
  • If your pet is microchipped, make sure your contact information is up date.  If they are not chipped, schedule a visit to your vet to have this done.
  • Secure the environment.  If guests are coming over, place signs on doors and gates as reminders to keep them closed.  Ask your guests to be aware of potential exits and help prevent pets escaping.  When outside, keep pets on a leash just to be safe. 
  • Take your pet to a dog park earlier in the day so they can run off all that energy or provide extra exercise.  For some pets (but not all), this can help them sleep through the festivities.
  • Prepare a safe, escape proof room or crate for your pet.
  • Stock up on calming aids.  There are several natural alternatives available.  You can also try playing soothing music or even noise from a box fan.
  • Take current pictures of each pet just in case they do get out.
  • Have emergency contact info handy like the emergency vet number or poison control.

During the celebrations: 

  • First and foremost, leave pets at home.  Don’t take them to a fireworks display.
  • If your neighbors set off fireworks, keep your pets inside.  This is where your prepared safe room can come in handy.
  • Provide something for your pet to do like a long-lasting chew or toy stuffed with peanut butter.
  •  Provide plenty of water, too much sun and heat can create health issues.
  • Use pet friendly sunscreens and insect repellents.
  • Remember to keep pets away from the grill, lighter fluid and matches. 
  • Keep items like sparklers, glow sticks, charcoal, kabob skewers and fireworks out of your pet’s reach.
  • Don’t feed table scraps.  These can be too fatty and have spices that are harmful.

After the celebrations: 

  •  Before letting your pets out, check your yard for fireworks debris.  Even if you don’t use fireworks, your neighbors display may leave debris in your yard.
  • Also check for food debris and other items that could be harmful.

We want you to have a safe and enjoyable Independence Day, without unnecessary trips to the vet or trying to find a lost pet.