As we gear up for the 4th of July celebrations, it’s essential to remember that while this holiday can be fun for us, it can pose various risks to our beloved pets. Between the loud fireworks and the summer heat, pets need extra care and attention. Here are some crucial tips to keep your furry friends safe and comfortable during the festivities.

1. Firework Safety

Fireworks are a staple of 4th of July celebrations, but they can be terrifying for pets. The loud noises and bright lights can cause anxiety and stress in animals.

  • Keep Pets Indoors: Make sure your pets are indoors well before the fireworks start. This helps prevent them from running away due to fear
  • Create a Safe Space: Set up a quiet, comfortable area where your pet can retreat. Include their favorite bed, toys, and some calming music to drown out the noise
  • Identification: Ensure your pet is wearing a collar with an ID tag. Microchipping is also a great idea in case they escape
  • Medicate if needed: Talk to one of our veterinarians to see if your pet may benefit from the use of a medication like Sileo or a CBD Supplement like Ellevet Calm and Comfort Chews
  • Use caution around explosives: Fireworks are very dangerous if consumed or touched while lit. Do not allow your pet in areas where fireworks are being set off to avoid the risk of burns or bad injury

2. Heat Safety

July is one of the hottest months of the year, and pets are susceptible to heatstroke and dehydration.

  • Provide Plenty of Water: Make sure your pet has access to fresh, clean water at all times
  • Limit Outdoor Time: Avoid taking your pets for walks during the hottest parts of the day. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times
  • Shade and Shelter: If your pet must be outside, ensure they have access to shade and a cool place to rest
  • Avoid Hot Surfaces: Pavement and sand can become extremely hot and burn your pet’s paws. Walk your pets on grass whenever possible

3. Party Precautions

Holiday gatherings can be overwhelming for pets, with many people and potentially harmful foods around.

  • Food Safety: Keep pets away from the BBQ and picnic areas. Foods like chocolate, grapes, onions, and fatty meats can be toxic to pets
  • Safe Environment: Ensure your pet has a quiet space to retreat if they become overwhelmed by the noise and activity
  • Be sure to follow the heat and firework safety tips provided, too

4. Signs of Heatstroke in Pets

It’s crucial to recognize the signs of heatstroke in pets. Symptoms include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and collapse. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke:

  • Move them to a cooler area immediately
  • Offer small amounts of cool (not cold) water
  • Wet their fur with cool water
  • Contact your veterinarian immediately

5. General Safety Tips

  • Supervision: Always supervise your pets around pools, grills, and fireworks
  • Exercise Caution: If your pet is showing signs of anxiety or distress, consider staying home with them to provide comfort and reassurance
  • Plan Ahead: If you know your pet struggles with loud noises, consult with your veterinarian about possible anxiety treatments or solutions before the 4th of July

The 4th of July can be stressful for pets, but with a little preparation and care, you can ensure they remain safe and comfortable. Remember, your veterinary hospital is here to help. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or behavior during the holiday, don’t hesitate to contact us. Have a happy and safe 4th of July! Our hospital will be closed to allow our staff to spend time with family, friends & pets. We will reopen on Friday at 8 am. If your pet experiences an emergency, please contact your closest animal emergency facility.