Independence Day is an essential holiday with lots of fun ways to celebrate the birth of the USA. But a lot of the ways people celebrate can be detrimental to dogs to cats. Here are some important things to remember when celebrating with your pet.
While you are cooking out with friends and family, remember that your furry friends are hunting for treats. Advise guests not to put plates in reach of pets. Even if they have eaten most of the food, a rogue onion on a discarded plate can be deadly to a dog searching for a treat.
Raise your hand if you heard a "funny" story about a dog or cat getting drunk. It's not actually funny at all. If pets drink unattended cups of alcohol, it can result in adverse effects ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to coma or death. Please keep your beers, wines, and liquor out of reach of cats and dogs. If you know someone who actively tries to get their pet drunk for fun, alert the local humane officer. That is animal cruelty.
Disclaimer: Having your pet pose for a funny photo with alcohol is fine, as long as they don't ingest any.
The Fourth of July offers many opportunities for pets to get out of the house and lost. This is likely why July in National Lost Dog Prevention Month. Hopefully, your pets are already chipped, but if not, please look into free and low-cost clinics this month. Regardless of chips, make sure all pets have their tags on when people are coming and going from your home. Double check that guests have closed gates and doors. Post signs about cats or dogs who try to escape near their favorite exists.
Tell every new guest when they get there the rules for your pets. People who don't have pets will often not think twice about leisurely walking through a door, without the threat of a dog or cat sprinting between their legs. It's your house, and you have every right to explain the rules.
Fireworks are the worst, not just for pets, but for veterans and others suffering from PTSD. Still, you can enjoy them if you make sure your pets are safe. There are two kinds of fireworks displays to consider: large professional displays and backyard displays.
When it comes to large professional displays, do not take your dog along. It's much too easy for them to get spooked and run off. If you live close to a display, keep your pets inside and offer them comfort with a safe area to hide and their favorite toy or blanket.
Backyard fireworks displays are a little different. If you live in a neighborhood where they happen a lot, you will need to keep your guard up all week. You might be letting your dog out one evening and hear a surprising boom from next door. This is why proper tags and chips are so critical. Check that your gates are closed before letting your dog out too.
I don't recommend setting off any kind of fireworks in your own yard. It's a dangerous burn risk to adults, children, pets, and your home. In many areas, it's also illegal. But, if you choose to set off fireworks or use sparklers, make sure your pets can't get to them, even after they've burned out. A dog or cat who ingests the chemicals in fireworks and sparklers can get seriously ill and die. All it takes is a few misguided licks or chews of a discarded sparkler.
Thank you for loving your pet enough to educate yourself on the dangers associated with the Fourth of July. This holiday, and through the weekend, make sure to stay vigilant for your pet. Your pet can't advocate for itself, so it needs you to keep him or her safe.
For The Love Of Alex cares about your pets, and all cats and dogs. Please consider making a donation to help a pet from a low-income family overcome a veterinary emergency.
Happy Independence Day. Have a safe and fun celebration.
For The Love of Alex Inc is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides emergency funding for urgent and lifesaving care of pets of low-income families.