4th Of July Safety Tips For Pets

The 4th of July is a time for backyard barbeques, family fun, and dazzling fireworks displays. But all that noise and excitement can be stressful for our fur babies! Plus, numerous dangers can turn a happy summer holiday into a trip to the emergency clinic. But with a little preparation, you can be sure your pets are safe and happy this 4th of July.

Keep Your Pets Indoors

The best way to keep your pets safe during all the holiday festivities is to keep them indoors. This will keep them away from loud, scary noises as well as people and other dogs they may not be familiar with.

If you will be having people over, go one step further by having your pet(s) safely away in their own space. With so many people coming in and out of the house, it’s easy for scared dogs and cats to dart outside.

Choose a room that’s away from the noise and make it comfy/cozy. Play some soothing music and consider using calming pheromone diffusers such as Feliway for cats or Adaptil for dogs. Bring their food and water bowls in and don’t forget to offer some enrichment toys to help keep their minds off the chaos.

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Make Sure They Have an Up-To-Date ID

Even when we plan ahead and take all necessary precautions, things still happen and our pets can still get loose during all of the activity. Be sure your fur baby can be easily identified and returned to you by making sure their ID tag’s contact information is legible. 

If your pet is microchipped and you’ve recently moved, be certain you’ve updated your address and contact information in the company’s system. And finally, consider using a GPS product like Apple® airtags that can be added onto your pet’s collar to track their every movement.

OK, so these are some tips for those pet parents who have fur babies who are very fearful around loud noise and activity. But what about those pets who are all-too-happy to be right in the center of the fun? How can you keep them safe during the festivities?

Keep Them Away from People Food

There aren’t many dogs or cats who will say no to a bite or two of burger, potato salad or confetti cake. But that doesn’t mean you should share your food with them, though their eyes may beg.

Many common backyard barbecue foods contain ingredients that are toxic to pets. Foods like onions, garlic, chocolate and raisins are very toxic and, if enough has been ingested, can even be fatal.

High-fat foods like brisket, potato chips, and French fries can lead to a very painful condition called pancreatitis. This condition can be fatal and, at the very least, will require a trip to the vet or emergency clinic for a possible overnight hospitalization.

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And we can’t mention hazardous people food without discussing corn cobs and meat bones, which can pose a serious risk of GI obstruction. Should your pup or cat chew small bones, like chicken wing bones, and they splinter, it could lead to perforations of the esophagus or intestines.

And finally, alcohol can be very toxic to dogs and cats and cause depression of their central nervous system, organ failure, and even death. And your pets don’t even have to drink it to have a toxic reaction. Even absorbing alcohol through their skin or paw pads can be enough.

For all of these reasons, it’s important to keep the food and drinks away from your pets and vice versa!

Keep Them Away from Citronella, Too!

Citronella makes a great insect repellant, which is why it is commonly found in tiki torches, candles, sprays and essential oils. While these products help to make people more comfortable outdoors, they aren’t ideal for our pets to be around.

Burning citronella candles can be a respiratory irritant for pets. And if your pet decides to take a bite out of one, it can cause severe GI upset. 

Coming into contact with a citronella plant or the essential oils can cause skin irritation, while ingesting the plant can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, and weakness. 

Best to keep your pets away from all citronella products.

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Watch for Overheating

Our pets don’t tolerate heat or humidity very well at and they can easily become overheated. Pets with brachycephaly, laryngeal paralysis, or other breathing issues are at higher risk of heatstroke. Keep them cool with air conditioning, shade, and plenty of water.

Be Wary of Open Flames

Firing up the grill for a barbecue is a classic July 4th tradition. But you’ll want to be mindful and keep your pets far away from open flames and hot grills. Ideally, the grill will be inaccessible to them.

Lighter fluid, matches and lighters are all toxic to our pets, and those hot grease drippings are also not good for them. Plus, if they’re downwind from the flames, they could experience significant respiratory irritation from smoke inhalation.

Final Thoughts

By taking these simple precautions and prioritizing your pet’s comfort, you can ensure a safe and joyful July 4th for everyone. Remember, a little planning can go a long way in turning America’s birthday into a happy celebration for both you and your fur babies!

And to keep your fur baby safe and healthy all year long, consider enrolling them into a pet insurance plan that can reimburse you for up to 90% of those sudden, unexpected vet bills. They’ll get the care they need and you’ll have peace of mind. That’s win/win!

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