Prepare 

Keep Your Pets Prepared and Resilient on the 4th of July Holiday

They have bonfire night in Britain, but the above graphic is a really cute one….

Resilient Pets Require Prepared Pet Owners!

Some important things to keep in mind this long weekend:

  1. Pets and Fireworks Don’t Mix

    • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
    • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, who can become frightened or disoriented by the sound. Please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities, and opt instead to keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

  2. The 4th of July Weekend is the #1 Weekend for lost pets – Get a Chip and Make Them Wear a Collar – even indoors!

    • Frightened pets can act unpredictably. If you are used to having your pet not wear a collar when inside your home, consider keeping the collar on for the duration of the long weekend in case your pet escapes.
    • Be prepared in the event that your pet does escape by downloading the ASPCA Mobile App. They provide a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances.
    • Keep your pets’ IDs up to date! It’s a good idea for all your animal companions—even indoor-only pets—to always wear a collar with an ID tag that includes your name, current phone number and any relevant contact information. July 1 is National ID Your Pet Day, which serves as an annual check-in to make sure your pets’ identification tags and microchip information is up to date.
    • Make sure your pets – cats and dogs alike – have identification tags with up-to-date information. If you have horses, you might consider marking a safety (breakaway) halter with your contact information and leaving it on your horse during this stressful time.
    • If your pets aren’t already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost.
    • If your pets are microchipped, make sure your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date.
    • Take a current photo of all of your cats, dogs and horses – just in case.

  3. Protect Your Pet From Heatstroke and Dehydration

    • Remember that too much sun and heat (and humidity!) can be dangerous to pets. Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot/humid; make sure they have access to shady spots and plenty of water when outdoors; don’t leave them outside for extended periods in hot weather; and know the signs that a pet may be overheating.
    • Never leave your pet in your car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.
  4. Make sure to clean up after the party!

    • Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.
    • Check your pastures and remove debris to protect horses and livestock.
    • If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.

Blue Cross (in the UK) has these handy tips:

The A.S.P.C.A. has these important tips for being prepared to keep your pet safe and healthy for the long weekend:

  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them.Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals. Please visit People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets for more information.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it.While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and tiki torch oil products out of reach. Ingestion can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.

The AVMA also has these great reminders:

Preparing in advance:

  • If your pet has historically been anxious on this holiday, or if you have reason to expect potentially harmful reactions, consider behavioral therapy to desensitize your pet and reduce the risk of problems. Some pets may need medication. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.
  • Make sure the environment is safe and secure. If your neighbors set off fireworks at an unexpected time, is your yard secure enough to keep your pet contained? Are pasture fences secure enough to keep horses or other livestock confined? Evaluate your options, and choose the safest area for your animals; and make improvements if needed to make the area more secure.

Safety during July 4th celebrations:

  • Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.
  • Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
  • Keep horses and livestock in safely fenced areas and as far from the excitement and noise as possible.
  • If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Placing notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your guests remain vigilant.
  • Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.
  • Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewersaway from curious pets.
  • Don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.
  • Avoid the urge to feed your pets table scraps or other foods intended for people. Be especially careful to keep them away from these common foods that are actually toxic.
  • If you’re travelling out of town for the holiday, consider leaving your pets at home with a pet sitter or boarding them in a kennel. If you need to bring them with you, be sure you know how to keep them safe.
  • Follow safe food handling and hygiene practices to protect your family and guests.

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