4th of July and Your Pets

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4th of July is great for us humans, but not so great for your pets. Here are a few tips for Pet Safety for the holiday weekend. You can visit pretty much any 501(c)(3) animal rescue site for more tips or help.

1. Be sure your pet is wearing an up to date and visible ID tag on their collar at all times. I worked in animal rescue for a few years and this small tag gets MANY animals back home to their families and away from shelters and potential death. Even if that tag is just the pet’s name, your name and phone number, many will call if they find your pet. I’ve picked up many animals with collars and called the number on the tag.

2. Take a current photo of your pet, just in case. I take one probably everyday #crazypetmom

3. During cookouts, asks guest and family to play with pets, and kids, away from open flames and the grill. Sounds silly, but you’d be surprised how many people end up at emergency vets because they didn’t follow this obvious tip.

4. Exercise your pet before parties begin and before nightfall. Fireworks are very scary to cats and dogs and many cats and dogs run away from the loud sounds. You don’t want to be out walking your dog when fireworks go off, have your dog run away, and then have a missing dog in the dark who also happens to be terrified and probably won’t come out of hiding or may run into traffic or danger.

5. I am guilty of this, but table scraps are bad for dogs. Cookouts are a great place for dogs and cats to trick guests into giving them bits of food off their plates. Because Buddy maybe getting a little food from everyone he could end up with a stomach ache or eat something that is not safe for dogs (same for cats). So keep some dog treats on hand and let guest know if they want to give your pet a treat they can give a dog or cat treat and not people food.

6. It’s really for the better if you just leave your pet indoors, especially once fireworks are going to be set off. It’s just safer inside and as much as we want our entire family there celebrating, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Leave a frozen treat for dogs (Kong filled with peanut butter and frozen all day) or a new toy. Being inside drastically reduces the risk of your pet running off in fear or  falling into the hands of those nasty people who think it’s fun to torment animals during the holidays.

7. If you have to, or just really, really want to, bring your dog with you to events/parties, make sure they are on a leash once fireworks start and you have a tight grip on that leash.  It’s easy to forget how strong dogs are, so hang on tight!

8. If your dog is afraid of loud noises, try leaving soft music or the tv on. This tip does nothing for my dog, but I have friends who swear by this technique.

9. Finally, it’s SO HOT outside. Dogs and cats can easily become dehydrated. So make sure they have access to water at all times and NO leaving your dog or cat in the car during the parties. Again, leave your pet at home instead.

Have a safe and happy Fourth!

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