The Fourth of July is the loudest, brightest and possibly the most chaotic holiday of the year. Although it is a time of celebration and festivities for us, it may be everything but enjoyable for your furry kids. Loud booms and bright, exploding lights are terrifying for some animals which leads them to flee in search of protection. In fact, animal controls nationwide report a 30% increase in lost pets each year between July 4th and July 6th! Here are a few tips to help you and your pets get through the madness of the Fourth of July unscathed.
Before the Crazy:
Expect the unexpected. More pets go missing on the 4th of July than any other time of year. Take the time and update all contact information for your pet’s microchip and tags.
Mental prep. During the day, before the fireworks begin, exercise your pet. Take them on a long walk, play at the park or lake, or work on some training. The physical and mental activities will help them relax.
Lock it down. If your pet lives in a fenced-in area, ensure all locks are latched and there are no escape routes like holes under the fence. Remember, any wiggle room will be used to their advantage.
During the Crazy:
Keep the party animals away. If you are going to celebrate with friends at a cookout, leave your pets at home. Keeping them comfortable and away from new people, smells, and surroundings will reduce anxieties.
Create a safe space. Does your pet have a crate or favorite room? Now is the time to let them have some time alone to meditate in their favorite spot. Animals tend to prefer den, or cave-like, spaces. Try to create a comfortable environment for them with blankets and their favorite toys. You can even cover their kennel with a towel to help drown out noise and lights.
Keep their potty breaks very brief and to a minimum. If you must take your pet outside, ensure their collars, harnesses and leashes are secure.
People food vs. pet food. If you are enjoying a cookout or BBQ, avoid letting them catch falling scraps. GI upset and blockages can occur from all sorts of human foods. Let’s try to avoid a trip to the emergency vet on an already wild night.
After the Crazy:
Clean it up. When the party's over and the noise has died down, take time to comb your yard for leftover firework debris and other garbage. Colorful wrappings can sometimes be mistaken as fun treats/toys and we really don't want to have to surgically remove anything from your pet's stomach.
Chill out! Everyone needs a chill day. Let this be an opportunity to spend some extra time together. Relax, play, eat treats and enjoy your day off. Recovery from the holiday may help your pet realize they are okay and possibly help prepare them for next year.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend and enjoy the 4th of July! If you have questions please contact us to make an appointment. We are here for you and your pets!
By Erin Miller