The 4 F’s of July Fourth Pet Safety

As summer heats up, July Fourth also approaches, bringing the promise of delicious food, festive fireworks, and fun times with friends. However, many of the things you enjoy about the Fourth are dangerous for your four-legged pal. To help you and your pet safely enjoy all of Independence Day’s fun activities, our Madison Street Animal Hospital team has put together the following four F’s of July Fourth pet safety.

Focus on keeping your pet cool

July is one hot month, and if you and your furry friend are spending time outside, they need protection from the heat and humidity. Conditions that seem mild can be much more serious for your pet, especially if you leave them in a parked car or unventilated building without air conditioning.

To help your pet stay cool and comfortable during your July Fourth celebrations, focus on:

  • Fresh water — Fresh, clean, cool water is essential for your pet at all times, but particularly when they are outside in hot weather.
  • Shade — Protect your pet from blistering rays by keeping them in the shade as much as possible, especially during walks on pavement.
  • Air flow — Air movement is important for keeping your pet cool, because stagnant, humid air can suffocate them and they will overheat much faster.
  • Cooling measures — Keep your pet cool outside by playing in water. Set up a sprinkler or wading pool for splashing, and let them retrieve ice cubes or frozen treats from the pool.

When outdoors, monitor your pet for early heat exhaustion signs, which include heavy panting, thick drool, and lethargy. As heat exhaustion progresses into heatstroke, your pet can become disoriented and develop vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures, so take immediate action if you notice your pet’s excessive panting and ropey drool.

Find a safe place for your pet to ride out the fireworks show

Fireworks shows terrify many pets, so create a safe space for them to wait out the colorful explosions. Set up a place in the most soundproofed room in your home where your pet can relax, and give them a food puzzle and long-lasting treat for entertainment. Play white noise, classical music, or the TV to drown out loud sounds, and diffuse calming pheromones to promote a comforting environment. 

Pets who are exceptionally frightened of fireworks can benefit from anti-anxiety medication to help combat their fear of loud noises.

Fix holes to prevent your pet from escaping

Whether you will keep your pet solely inside your home, or the backyard, fixing any holes they could sneak through is essential for their safe keeping. Shoring up their environment’s defenses may include:

  • Blocking access — Ensure your pet can’t slip out the front door as you greet guests by blocking your home exits.
  • Fixing damaged fencing — If your chain-link fencing has a hole, repair the weak link before your pet can run off when they are startled by fireworks or stealing a hot dog from a grill. 
  • Filling holes — Dogs who love to dig can rapidly make a large hole under the fence that they can slip through, so ensure all holes are filled in and covered with rocks or other items your pet can’t dig through or push aside.
  • Doubling up on identification — To help ensure your missing pet is returned to you, double their identification. Update their collar ID tags so they are legible and secure, and have your pet microchipped if they aren’t already.

Foil your pet’s food-snatching tactics

One of the highlights of July Fourth celebrations—especially in your pet’s eyes—is cooking outside on a sizzling grill. The many delicious dishes on your picnic table can be irresistible for your pet, but foods commonly found at barbecues can be dangerous for them.

If your pet is a known counter-surfer or food thief, ensure they keep their paws off the following hazardous foods:

  • Barbecued meats — Meats with bones, skin, fat, or excessive seasoning can cause gastrointestinal (GI) issues, obstructions, pancreatitis, or toxicity, so avoid sharing ribs, chicken legs, steak, hamburgers, and hot dogs with your four-legged friend.
  • Kebabs — Assorted veggies and chunks of chicken or beef make delicious kebabs, but wooden or metal skewers can pierce your pet if they snag one of these tasty treats.
  • Corn on the cob — A corn cob may seem the perfect chew toy for your pet, but any swallowed portion of the cob can become an obstruction.
  • Side dishes — Mayonnaise-loaded potato salad that has been sitting in the hot sun all day is a recipe for disaster, as are the deviled eggs, cole slaw, and other dishes that contain mayo, eggs, onions, and garlic. These foods can cause pancreatitis, GI upset, or toxicity in your pet.

Keeping your pet safe and happy during July Fourth festivities can be challenging, so let our Madison Street Animal Hospital team help. Give us a call to request anti-anxiety medication to soothe your pet’s fireworks fear, or to schedule a wellness visit to keep your furry pal current on essential vaccinations and parasite prevention.

By |2024-02-14T23:54:17+00:00June 25th, 2023|News|0 Comments

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