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4th of July Safety

While fireworks, picnics, and other Fourth of July celebrations can bring joy to people, they can also be a source of fear and risk for animals. The loud noises from fireworks and celebrations may frighten animals, leading them to flee; holiday treats can be harmful; the summer heat and travel can pose dangers; and hazardous debris might be left on the ground for pets to ingest or play with.

Regardless of whether you are organizing your own Independence Day event, it is crucial to take steps to ensure the safety of your pets throughout and following the Fourth of July celebrations.

Get ready in advance:

  • Ensure your pets – both cats and dogs – have updated identification tags with current information

  • If your pets are not already microchipped, discuss microchipping with your vet. This simple procedure can significantly increase the chances of reuniting with your pets if they go missing.

  • If your pets are microchipped, ensure that your contact information in the microchip database is up to date

  • Take a recent picture of all your cats, and dogs – just in case.

  • If your pet typically gets anxious during this holiday, or if you anticipate potential harmful reactions, consider behavioral therapy to help your pet adjust and minimize risks. Some pets might require medication. Seek advice from your vet or a veterinary behaviorist.

  • Ensure the surroundings are safe and secure. If your neighbors unexpectedly set off fireworks, is your yard secure enough to contain your pet? Assess your options, select the safest area for your animals, and make enhancements if necessary to increase security.

Safety during July 4 celebrations:

  • It's best to leave your pets at home when attending parties, fireworks displays, parades, and other events. The loud noises, unfamiliar surroundings, and crowds can be very distressing for pets, increasing the risk of them getting scared and running away.

  • Consider placing your pets in a secure, escape-proof room or crate during gatherings and fireworks.

  • For hosts, it's advisable to ask guests to assist in keeping an eye on your pets to prevent any escapes. Leaving notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your visitors stay vigilant.

  • When setting off fireworks, keep your pets indoors to ensure their safety.

Always keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal, and kabob skewers out of reach of curious pets.

  • While your barbecue grill is in use or still hot, ensure that pets are kept away from it.

  • Refrain from giving your pets table scraps or other foods meant for human consumption. Be cautious to prevent them from accessing these common toxic foods.

  • Be aware that excessive sun and heat (and humidity!) can pose risks to pets. Keep them indoors during extreme heat/humidity, provide shaded areas and ample water when outdoors, avoid leaving them outside for prolonged periods in hot weather, and recognize the symptoms of overheating in pets.

  • Do not leave your pet unattended in a warm car, as the temperature inside vehicles rises rapidly and can endanger pets even in a short time.

  • If you're traveling away for the holiday, consider leaving your pets at home with a pet sitter or boarding them. If you must take them along, ensure you are familiar with how to keep them secure.

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