Keep Your Pets Safe This Independence Day!
4th of July is upon us once again! This week’s celebrations will be filled with family and friends, food and drinks, and plenty of elaborate fireworks displays to honor our nation’s independence. We scoured the web (along with having some of our own experiences as pet owners) and found the best tips for having a safe holiday. This time of the year is notorious for high numbers of runaway pets who become overwhelmed with panic due to fireworks.
Before celebrating this July 4th, keep the following in mind to ensure the best holiday for both you and your pets:
Get Your Pet Microchipped!
You may not have enough time running this close to the 4th, but chipping your pets can be one of the best things to do for them. This is a medical procedure, performed by your vet, where a small chip is implanted at the base of the neck by the shoulder blades. In the event that the pet runs away or becomes lost, a microchip increases the chance that someone will be able to find you and contact you.
Scared dogs are more prone to bolt. Their instincts will take them very far away, well out of sight. Microchipping them won't get rid of this instinct, but it will help you locate your frightened dog or panicked cat down the line.
Have ID Tags on the Collars!
ID Tags are even more important than Microchips! Even if they are chipped, having collars with all your contact info is really important. It is much easier for someone that finds them to be able to contact you right away, reuniting you with your furry buddy much sooner.
Keep them indoors!
This is just a good rule in general. If they do get anxious and try to hide this will make it so they might hide in a safe place in your home. If you have them outside and they get spooked by noises dogs hate like fireworks or gunshots, they might try to run away to safety. Being in the pet door business, we want to remind you that this includes closing off pet doors around the house to prevent them from going out until the fireworks are over.
Cats and dogs will find a way to get into hidden corners and small spaces, and in doing so, can encounter sharp objects, candy wrappers, pieces of food and other small articles that may pose a choking hazard or digestive issues. Make an effort to get into these places and clean out dust and debris, and if possible, seal off small spaces to make them inaccessible to your pet.
Do Not Take Your Dog to a Fireworks Show!
This is never a good idea. Fireworks scare dogs more than just about any other noise. Not only will the show be loud and crowded, it can be far too overwhelming and stressful for them. Why do dogs not like fireworks? Loud noises like fireworks triggers dog's nervous systems, giving most anxiety and fear. It's possible they will bolt and run away if they have the chance. Fireworks are also unnatural, unlike thunder. To them, it's scary and an unknown danger.
This fireworks rule also goes for house parties, as it’s important to keep firecrackers away from pets even if you aren’t at a big celebration. Be a responsible pet guardian, so know what makes your pet anxious.
It's also good to know how to keep dogs calm during fireworks shows. Sometimes, it's as easy as cuddling up on the couch, or distracting them with food. Other times, they need blankets, toys, or earmuffs! Figure out how to calm your dog during fireworks can also help with firecrackers, loud music, thunder, and any stress they may be feeling!
Pet-Proof Your Home!
Are you hosting the celebration this 4th of July? If so, make sure your home is pet-friendly by making sure all hazardous items are out of your pets’ reach. People food and table scraps as treats might be tempting to feed them, but it could be very harmful. Dogs and cats are allergic to certain foods like chocolate, coffee, onions (in any form), grapes, raisins, avocado, yeast, and salt. Alcohol is another no-no, so even though we enjoy it, keeping it up and out of the pets reach is absolutely recommended. This also goes for BBQ tools, matches, lighters, and lighter fluid.
The precautionary measures taken in the times of Hurricane Sandy is the aptest way to encapsulate & summarise this blog post.
Here are the last minute tips to help you keep your pet safe.
- Make sure you know which shelters are pet-friendly. Since not all emergency shelters will allow pets, it’s good to know in advance which ones will accept both you and your furry companion(s).
- Leave out plenty of water for your pets both at home and at the shelter. If you live on a good system and can’t access your water without electricity, it’s necessary to fill up as many buckets as you can to keep your pets hydrated throughout the storm.
- If you are keeping your pet indoors, make sure your home is pet-friendly by keeping all hazardous items are out of your pets’ reach. People food and table scraps as treats might be tempting to feed them, but it could be very harmful.
- We are reiterating on this important aspect. Double check that your pet is wearing their collar with up-to-date contact information. If your pet gets lost during the celebration, this is the only way to ensure they can be identified and returned to you. If your pet is microchipped, make sure the account is updated with your contact information and add as many emergency contacts as possible.