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July 4th Pet Safety

July 3 2022

America’s birthday is just around the corner, and you know what that means: barbeques and fireworks! Unfortunately, both of these things can present hazards for our canine pals. Read on as a Champaign, IL vet offers some Fourth of July pet safety tips.

Keep Pets Cool

Independance Day can be a scorcher! Make sure that your furry friends always have plenty of water, and that they have access to cool, shady areas and/or rooms with climate control. Fido may also enjoy being sprayed with a hose or playing in a kiddie pool. As for Fluffy, try putting a frozen towel on her bed.

Bring Fido In Before The Booms

Many of our furry companions are absolutely terrified of fireworks. That fear can spark their fight-or-flight instinct, causing them to bolt. Sadly, lost pet reports often spike after Independence Day. Bring your four-legged friend inside before nightfall. If your canine pal is nervous of loud noises, turn a radio on to mask the sound. Pet calming-products can also be beneficial. Ask your vet for tips on using these. Fido and Fluffy should also be microchipped and wearing tags, just in case.

Offer Safe Foods

Grilling out is definitely on the agenda for many people. You can offer your pet something special, but you’ll need to stick with safe foods, such as plain, cooked meat, fish, or chicken. Our four-legged pals can be quite persistent beggars! Don’t let Fido or Fluffy have anything that isn’t safe. Some dangerous foods include garlic, onions, scallions, and chives; grapes and raisins; avocado; chocolate; meat on the bone; pitted fruit; and alcohol.

Keep Up With Parasite Control

Fleas, ticks, and other parasites are out in droves in summer. Keep up with your furry buddy’s preventative care! This is especially important if your holiday gathering will include other dogs.

Other Hazards

Bug spray, torch oil, lighter fluid, pesticides, cleaning agents … these are just a few chemicals that are dangerous to pets. Fido and Fluffy can ingest these just by walking through them or getting some spilled on their fur and then licking it off. Trash is also an issue, particularly for those with dogs that aren’t shy about digging through the garbage for someone’s half-eaten chicken leg. Use bins with secure lids.

Our Advice on July 4th Pet Safety in 2024

How can you keep your pets cool during the Fourth of July celebrations?

To keep pets cool during Fourth of July celebrations, ensure they have constant access to water and shady or climate-controlled areas. Using a hose to gently spray your dog or setting up a kiddie pool for them to play in can offer relief from the heat. For cats, placing a frozen towel in their favorite resting spot can provide a cool surface to lie on. These measures help prevent overheating and ensure pets remain comfortable amidst summer festivities.

What are the signs of heat stroke in pets, and how can you prevent it?

Signs of heat stroke in pets include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, uncoordinated movements, vomiting, and collapse. To prevent heat stroke, ensure pets have access to plenty of fresh water and shade. Avoid rigorous activity during the hottest parts of the day, and never leave pets in a parked car, even with windows open. Use cooling mats or towels and consider indoor activities. Regularly monitor pets for signs of overheating, especially those that are elderly, brachycephalic, or have thick coats, as they are more susceptible.

How can you help your pet cope with anxiety caused by fireworks?

To help pets cope with anxiety from fireworks, keep them indoors in a calm, familiar environment. Use background noise like a radio or television to mask the sound of fireworks. Consider pet-calming products, such as pheromone diffusers, anxiety wraps, or consult a veterinarian for appropriate medication if anxiety is severe. Ensure pets are microchipped and have current ID tags in case they escape. Creating a safe hideaway, like a quiet room or a crate with comfortable bedding, can also provide a sense of security for anxious pets during fireworks displays.

What should you do if your pet goes missing during the Fourth of July celebrations?

If your pet goes missing during the Fourth of July celebrations, act quickly. First, search your immediate area thoroughly. Then, alert neighbors, and post on local social media groups dedicated to lost and found pets. Utilize online platforms like Nextdoor and Craigslist. Contact local animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and animal control to report your pet missing and provide a detailed description. It’s crucial to have your pet microchipped and wearing a collar with ID tags, as this greatly increases the chances of a safe return.

What should you do if your pet ingests a potentially harmful substance during the celebrations?

If your pet ingests a potentially harmful substance during celebrations, immediately contact a veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Provide details about the substance ingested, the amount, and the time of ingestion. Do not induce vomiting unless specifically instructed by a professional, as this can sometimes cause more harm. Keep a sample of the substance or its packaging for identification. Prompt action and clear communication with a professional can significantly impact the effectiveness of treatment and the overall outcome for your pet.

Has it been a while since your pet has come in? Contact us, your Champaign, IL animal hospital, today!

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