Dog Dad Zack Manko and his dog Sorcha remind us to take care during this week of "loud" celebrations! Our pets are frightened by the unusual sights and sounds and safety needs to be priority #1!
Although it is an exciting holiday for humans, the Fourth of July can be a cause of alarm and distress for pets and other animals. Besides the terror of bright lights and cacophonous explosions rattling the skies, the fragrant temptations of the cookout can also be hazards in disguise. To protect your pooch and other pets, know the risks and plan ahead.
Firework--Keep the Fun, Avoid the Fiascoes
No Fourth of July celebration is complete without some fireworks. These bright, colorful blasts of sound and light bring surprise and delight to onlookers both young and old. However, the crackling, popping sky-bombs are no source of joy for canines and felines (or human sticks in the mud).
The onslaught of explosions is often distressing for animals, who are not used to (and cannot understand) fireworks. Besides the general discomfort they cause, fireworks can also lead to more serious issues with your pets.
For example, animals that are outside could become confused or scared and run off (more on that later). Even if they are tethered, the overwhelming sights and sounds could cause them to act erratically or bark incessantly.
Keeping them inside might not be enough, either. Dogs and other critters can still be overstimulated by fireworks. They could make a mess or tear up the house. Also, remember, an agitated or frightened dog is more likely to snap and bite.
Additionally, the crowds that gather for the firework celebrations can also spell strife for dogs. Many critters do not get along well when surrounded by groups of strangers. Such celebrations are typically loud, too. All of that combined with the boom of fireworks can cause Fido to become agitated.
Therefore, it is important you take the proper precautions to ensure that your pet remains calm and does not become a danger to anyone.
You can start by locating a place for them to stay that is as far away as possible from the firework celebration. This might mean leaving them at home instead of bringing them with you to the block party or park. If those fireworks are being lit off by your neighbors, or maybe your rowdy uncle at the family BBQ, then keep your pets inside, perhaps in the basement or a back room, to minimize their exposure to the alarming sounds.
Also, do not be tempted to try and acclimate your dog to the sounds of fireworks. We have a feeling the neighborhood will not appreciate this training process.
Keep Catastrophes Out of the Cookout
Along with fireworks, cookouts are another Fourth of July staple. These parties are great social gatherings, opportunities to meet with old friends or neighbors you may not have spoken to before. However, just as much of a draw is the food. Burgers and dogs (hot dogs, you monster) on the grill, buttery corn on the cob, potato salad, coleslaw, BBQ chicken—what's not to love?
A lot, apparently, if you're a dog. Many cookout foods are hazardous to dogs in more ways than one. Some present choking concerns, like the bones in ribs, chicken, and steak. Corn on the cob is dangerous too, as dogs could choke on out or swallow large pieces whole, leading to an intestinal blockage.
Other dishes may contain ingredients that are allergic to dogs. For example, garlic and onion, which are found in many dishes, are toxic to dogs in any form (fresh, cooked, powdered, etc.). Garlic and onion are also used as seasonings for many dishes, which renders them unsafe as well. Even consuming the excess fat from grill droppings or cleanings can lead to pancreatitis. While raw meat may seem like a special treat for your canine companion, it can contain bacteria that can lead to stomach distress, or serious illness. Similarly, salty snacks like chips and pretzels can cause sodium ion poisoning in canines, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, fever, seizures, or even death.
Also, it should go without saying, but do not share alcohol with dogs. Beer is quite common for Fourth of July parties and is fine for humans in moderation, but it has no place near your critters. Dogs may be more drawn to fruity drinks like premixed canned beverages which may contain xylitol or other sweeteners that are harmful to dogs.
If your pet does eat something it shouldn't have, or you suspect that they may have, remain calm and contact your veterinarian.
Luckily, there's an easy fix for this one--don't share people food with your pets! Keep food out of reach from critters and keep them away. Remember that dogs will be attracted to the meaty and fragrant scents, so keep an eye on them and stop them from getting to the grill. That does not mean they can't come to the party—just keep them on a leash or tethered.
Let the Pets into the Party
Speaking of keeping your dogs and other pets involved with all the fun, Pet Perennials has the items you need to celebrate with your furry friends. Give them some of these Peanut Butter and Carob Dog Treats for a start.
Also, to put that extra special something on your Fourth of July celebration, pick up the Patriotic to the Bone Air Freshener in macho buzz-cut scent. This smell-good device will be the finishing touch for your party's ambience. If you're planning ahead for a different party, or need something for every day, try out the Enjoy the Little Things Air Freshener, in lovely wild strawberry scent.
Looking for something more feline friendly? Check out the Kitty Birthday Pawty Bundle, complete with treats, toys, and birthday decals. With gear like that, this bundle is good for any feline fete.
Prevent Canine Fugitives
Picking up the thread about runaways, research shows that more dogs run away on the Fourth of July than on any other time of the year. Remember, fireworks frighten and agitate dogs, and a disrupted dog is more likely to run away.
Besides the precautions mentioned above, there are a few other steps you can take to prevent your pooch from making a getaway. First is making sure that wherever you secure them, whether it is a crate or special room, is not somewhere they can escape from. It's also a good idea to make sure that your dog cannot hurt itself in the room or enclosure you are keeping them in.
Another tactic is to get your pets microchipped. This is a straightforward and painless procedure that will allow you to track down your pet should they also run off. It will also help any dog pound or shelter reach out to reunite you, should your critter end up there.
Firework It Out
Celebrating on the Fourth of July is a time-honored tradition involving fireworks, good food, and patriotism. These parties can be great events to bring your pooch to, provided you have made the proper arrangements. Remember to prepare for fireworks, keep them away from people food, and keep an eye on them so they do not run off. With the right planning, you can have a great and dog-friendly day.
Have a fun and safe Fourth of July!