With Fourth of July festivities approaching, one can easily become absorbed in party planning, barbeque's and fireworks. Pet owners should also keep in mind all the dangers that surround their pets during the holiday.
According to Dr. Harlan Gothelf of the pets are known to escape from their homes during July Fourth festivities. Animals tend to become overwhelmed by fireworks and the crowds of people at parties. They should ideally be kept indoors away from the commotion, as opposed to being leashed in the yard.
Pets should be contained and even crated. Gothelf said that people can board their pets at the animal hospital to ensure that they are safe and cared for.
Gothelf also recommends sedating pets who are extra anxious with the noise: “You should sedate your pet if they’re going to hurt themselves or the property,” Gothelf said.
Owners should just generally keep their pets away from fireworks. Along with noise, stray fireworks can also hurt your pets. Even unused fireworks can be harmful to animals if ingested; fireworks can contain toxic substances, such as nitrate, sulfur-coal compounds, and traces of heavy metal.
“It’s all about what they get themselves into; you have to be careful," said longtime pet owner Cindy Sherman.
When preparing and cleaning for a party, owners should also be aware of the cleaning supplies. Pets can become curious of the different chemicals and can intake harmful toxins. Owners should also be careful of decorations. Holiday decorations can seem like new toys to pets, which can result in destruction of the décor and foreign objects in the pet’s stomach.
Pet owners should also be mindful of the heat.They should ensure that the pets are kept in cool, shaded areas with access to water. It is important to keep the pet hydrated and healthy. According to Sherman, she constantly refills her dog’s bowl to keep it cool and available.
Owners should watch out for their pets during barbeque's and meals. With many guests and unattended plates, animals tend to find ways to get table food. Many human foods, such as grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, sugar free gum, and fresh garlic and onions, are toxic to dogs and can cause upset stomachs in many pets.
“Foods, like corn on the cob, can also cause an obstruction in an animal’s stomach,” Gothelf said.
Along with food, owners must also be aware of possible unattended beverages. Alcohol can leave a dog extremely weak, intoxicated, and put them into depression. Animals can experience alcohol poisoning to various extremes, including respiratory issues and a coma.
Even with all the pet safety precautions, owners should make sure that their pets have collars on with updated house and phone number information. If the pet is being left home alone, make sure there is nothing harmful he or she can get into and that there is a place for them to feel secure. Shut the windows, lower the blinds, and turn on the radio or television to help drown out the sound of exploding fireworks. Make the holiday fun and safe, for yourself and your pet.