Protect Your Pets This Independence Day

Protect Your Pets This Independence Day


The 4th of July holiday is one of the most favorite summer celebrations for young and old alike. As our nation prepares to celebrate its 233rd family petsbirthday, Americans are purchasing hot dogs, slaw, chips, soda and of course, entertainment in the form of fireworks. In some states fireworks are illegal while virtually every state permits sparklers, caps and other celebratory devices with small amounts of gunpowder. But even as we prepare to celebrate, there are some members of the family who dread Independence Day – and that would be family pets who are sensitive to loud noises and bright lights.

Helpful Tips For Family Pets

Annually, the North Shore Animal League America which is the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, offers important guidelines to ensure that your pets are safe even as you celebrate:

Never take your pets to a fireworks display: Fireworks displays can be great fun, but not for your pets. The loud noises and bright lights can terrify an animal. Even the best-behaved dog may react with fear and try to flee from the scene, which could lead him into traffic or get him lost.

Give your pets a safe and quiet retreat: Fourth of July festivities can frighten an animal, so it’s important to provide a safe and quiet place to relax. Whether you secure a room of the house or blanketed crate, they should have someplace “den-like” in which to retreat. Draw the curtains to block out the lightshow, and try putting the TV or radio on at a low volume as a distraction or as company for them if you go out. Make sure to KEEP THEM INSIDE for their protection.

Create a problem-free environment: If you decide to go out and leave your pets at home, it’s wise to pet-proof your home. A nervous animal can become destructive, so it’s best to clear the area of anything he may ingest or hurt himself on if he becomes frantic or nervous. If you know your pet doesn’t react to fireworks well, try not to leave him unattended. Make sure windows and doors are secured in case they try to “break-out.” If your pet has extreme fear of fireworks, you may want to consult with your vet for some relaxation guidelines.

Monitor what your pet eats and drinks: Many foods and beverages are harmful to pets, and guests may not be aware of this. It is also difficult to monitor how much your pets are eating in a social setting. So to avoid illness, it’s best to let everyone know that party fare is off-limits for your animals.

Use distraction techniques: If you are home with your pet and he is exhibiting nervous behavior like whimpering or pacing, try distracting him with his favorite toys, games or snacks. Too much coddling may make your pet suspect that there is something to be afraid of.

Keep your pet cool and hydrated: Fourth of July can be a scorcher. It can take only minutes for heat exhaustion to set in, so be sure to keep your pet’s environment well ventilated and cool. Leave plenty of fresh, cool water for them to drink. NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN A HOT CAR. Imagine being trapped in a hot car in a fur coat. Even with the windows cracked, your pet can overheat and become ill or even die.

Make sure your pet is identifiable: In the event that your pet runs off, it’s imperative to make sure that his collar is on with his identification tags attached. Secure the collar so that your pet can’t squeeze out if it. You should be able to fit two fingers underneath the collar so that it’s roomy enough for comfort and snug enough for safety. If your pet runs off, you want to ensure his identification and a means to contact you for his safe return.

Watch out for Independence Day debris: When you let your pets out or take them for walks the day after, remember that the streets and your yard might be littered with firework debris. To your pets, these may seem like tasty treats or fun things to nibble on. Make a point to clean up before letting your companions out where they can rummage through potentially harmful debris.

Enjoy The 4th!

So while you’re having your fun check up on your pets to make sure that your celebration isn’t causing them undue harm. What makes for fun for the human members of your family can send your four-legged friends scurrying for cover.

Photo Credit — Jarsem

Source: North Shore Animal League America

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Categories: Home Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".