The Fourth of July is a scary and dangerous time for our pets. Even those of us who normally have our pets front and center when we celebrate or entertain need to take special precautions when it comes to Independence Day. Dangers such as fire, toxic substances, loud noises and even extreme heat can all put our pets at risk. Prevention is definitely the key to a happy and safe Fourth of July. Anticipating the hazards and taking steps to avoid them is the best way to keep our pets safe.
In many parts of the country, temperatures will be soaring on the Fourth of July. In our excitement and preparation for the festivities, it may be possible to forget about our pets' needs. Be sure that they have plenty of clean, fresh water, and lots of shade to escape to glaring mid-day sun.
Even if you are not planning to shoot off fireworks of your own, chances are your neighborhood will be filled with the booms, bangs and high-pitched whistles common to July 4th fireworks. For many dogs and cats, these sounds can be incredibly bothersome, possibly even traumatic. If this is the case for your pet, keep him inside during the evening hours and confined in a room with a radio or television playing loudly. For the most sensitive pets, sedation may even be required. If you have a dog or cat that is acutely sensitive to loud noises, consider visiting your vet prior to the Fourth of July for a prescription.
Both dogs and cats love to chase interesting things, and a falling bottle rocket or Roman candle is no exception. Even though their contents have already been burnt out, enough residues can remain to seriously poison your pet. If Fido of Fluffy remain outside with you during your neighborhood fireworks display, keep them leashed or otherwise confined so that ingesting spent fireworks is not a danger. Once the sun is up in the morning, it is a good idea to patrol your yard and the areas to which your pet has access to be sure all dangerous items have been properly disposed of.
Anyone who has much experience with firecrackers or fireworks knows that the casings stay incredibly hot for a while after the explosion. To your dog or cat, the glowing contraption may look like a fun and interesting toy. Even if they don't eat it, the heat alone can cause serious burns on the mouth, muzzle or paws. Again, keeping your pets confined is the best form of prevention.
"Fireworks Safety for Dogs and Cats," Pet Poison Helpline
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