Cute Yorkie Dog wearing patriotic top hat with 4th of July theme with an American flag in the background.

Dreamstime

Take Care Of Your Furry And Feathered Friends On July 4th With These Helpful Tips

July 03, 2018 - 1:59 pm
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By Crystal Hessong

Pet owners beware. Though you may enjoy celebrating the Fourth of July, your pets likely don’t. It's a holiday fraught with danger for your furry and feathered friends. Use these safety tips to ensure your holiday is fun for all your family members, whether they have two legs or four.

Create Identification for Your Pets

House parties, events and noisy fireworks mean your door may open more than usual, allowing even indoor pets a chance to run out. Keep identification tags engraved with your contact information on your pets at all times. Check these tags regularly to ensure the information is correct and up to date.

In addition to tags, take your pets to a vet to have them micro-chipped. This painless procedure inserts a tiny chip between the pet's shoulder blades. If your pet becomes lost without a collar, a vet or shelter will scan for a microchip. The chip will give your contact information to the shelter which will then contact you. Like identification tags, make sure to keep the microchip information updated if you move or change your phone number.

Keep Pets Secure

While having identification on your pets may help them get home if they run away, it's best to prevent your pets from running out in the first place. Put food, water, toys and bedding to make the room as comfortable as possible. Keep a sign on the door to alert guests to not allow your pets out. With your pets inside, they'll be safely away from exposure to dangerous fireworks. They'll also be further away from the frightening noises of the holiday.

Watch Out for Food

Many tasty Fourth of July foods are dangerous for your pets. Things like chocolate, onions, grapes, avocados and macadamia nuts are toxic to both cats and dogs. Even if your pets eat table scraps that are not toxic, those scraps could still cause gastrointestinal distress. Diarrhea, constipation and vomiting could result from a deviation in your pets' typical diets. Keep people-food far away from pets, and never leave food or drinks unattended. A curious cat or dog could quickly sneak a taste of something that could be deadly for it.

Non-food Dangers

Pets can ingest things that are not food by licking their fur. Never use insect repellents or sunscreens on your pets. DEET, a common ingredient in many insect repellents, is poisonous to cats and dogs, even in tiny amounts. Also keep pets away from citronella candles and insect repellent coils. These contain ingredients that could sicken your pets through inhalation.

After the Event

Use caution even after the Fourth festivities end. Leftover food and fireworks debris in your yard still pose a threat to your pets. Clean up the yard carefully before giving your pets free reign.

With enough forethought and aftercare, your pets can get through the Fourth of July holiday safely and happily.