The Fourth of July is a fun filled holiday for family and friends. It’s a chance to celebrate the birth of the United States with BBQ, fireworks, and warm weather. But that doesn’t mean our furry friends are as excited as we are! Wayside wants your pets to feel comfortable and safe during this holiday, so we have some tips for our four-legged family members.
1. Leave your pets at home.
We all love having our pets with us every chance we get. And to some it may seem mean to leave our pets at home when we’re out having fun. But the safest place for your pet on Independence Day is inside the safety of your home. Taking them to an unfamiliar location surrounded by people they don’t know with fireworks shooting off can increase anxiety and cause a pet to run away due to fear. And please don’t lock them in a car as a substitute — This can cause heat stroke!
2. Have a safe space available for your pet.
Whether it’s a closet filled with blankets or a crate full of their favorite toys, most dogs like having a go-to spot when anxiety hits. If your dog does not enjoy small spaces, that’s okay! Have their favorite blanket or dog bed ready and available for them in an open space if needed.
3. Use pet-friendly insect repellents and sunscreen.
The sunscreen and insect repellent humans use is not always safe for our furry best friends. The chemicals in these products can be toxic and cause sickness from drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and even neurological issues. There are plenty of pet friendly options to use for animals if insect bites or sunburn are a concern.
4. Keep alcohol out of reach of pets.
If ingested, alcohol can be very poisonous to pets. Drinks left on the floor or a low table might lead to ingestion. This can lead to weakness, low blood sugar, difficulty breathing, and, in extreme cases, respiratory failure. Keep drinks in hand or on a high table away from our curious friends!
5. Keep scraps away and out of reach.
We all get those puppy dog eyes when we’re eating food in front of our pets, but please resist! Table scraps can be extremely harmful to animals. Bones from ribs can splinter after ingested and cause obstruction; fatty table scraps can result in pancreatitis; there are many other examples of human food causing problems for our pets. Just because we can ingest something does not mean it’s safe for animals. Stick to their normal diet.
6. Keep glow jewelry away from pets.
The luminescent substance contained in these little plastic party favors are highly toxic and unsafe for animals if ingested, and the large pieces of plastic can cause blockage.
7. Keep citronella candles, insect coils, and tiki torch oil out of reach.
Animals can be very sensitive to the scent from these oils. They can cause aspiration pneumonia if inhaled, and if ingested can cause stomach irritation and central nervous system depression. Keep all chemicals locked away or high up away from pets.
8. Never use fireworks around pets!
Pets don’t understand fireworks the way we do. All they see and hear is a bright and loud explosion happening in front of them. There is also a risk for severe burns if they come into contact with a fireworks, as well as exposure to toxic substances.
9. Have your pet identified properly
Proper identification could be the only way to find a lost pet if they do get loose. An ID tag and microchip are effective ways of retrieving a pet if lost. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date with the microchip company. Also have recent photos of your animal in case “lost pet” signs are needed.
10. Beware of lighter fluid and matches
These items are typically on hand when barbecuing. When not in use, keep them high up or locked away to reduce any risk of ingestion. Like many other chemicals, these can be very harmful and dangerous when ingested.
We at Wayside want this to be an enjoyable event for everyone. These are just some tips to help you keep your pets safe and comfortable for the Fourth of July!
Written by Wayside Waifs