Updated: Apr 6
Bring on the barbecues, parades, and the fireworks. Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day are filled with fun, sun, and celebrations; but can also be filled with hazards and anxiety for our four-legged family members.
More pets are reported missing on 4th of July (and New Year's Day) than any other days of the year. July 5 is the busiest day of the year for shelters, which may be why the month of June was dubbed National Pet Microchip Awareness Month. When animals get spooked, their fight-or-flight response often takes over; they flee and get lost. Consider these recommendations when making your holiday plans:
Keep your pet indoors on the holiday (and through the weekend). Provide a long-lasting treat that will distract him from the noise and keep him comfortable if left alone.
If you absolutely must bring your pet out with you, ensure he has an ID tag, his collar fits properly, and he is attached to a leash at all times. When well-trained dogs can react to sudden unexpected noises and situations.
Get your pet microchipped. This can be scheduled as a quick outpatient appointment with your veterinarian or local shelter.
Most pets can be desensitized to loud noises such as fireworks. You can attempt to minimize this reactivity with the following preparations:
If you know fireworks will be set off close to home, consider taking your pet to another safe place, such as a family member or friend’s home. Or create a safe place in the home; and interior closet or bathroom to minimize the noise.
Try playing soft, relaxing music for your pet when loud noises are expected.
Try thundervests or weighted blankets to help pets with noise anxiety.
Consider over-the-counter oral supplements and appeasing pheromones that may alleviate minor noise aversions. Always speak with us before choosing supplements for your pet.
Medications may be necessary to eliminate a pet’s severe anxiety associated with fireworks and other loud noises. Before trying prescription medications, contact us to try CBD dog treats or CBD pet tinctures to get the benefits of relaxing your dog with the side effects of prescription medications.
Potential toxins are within a nose reach of our pack. Alcohol, glow sticks, bug spray, and citronella products are commonly found at summertime gatherings, and can be potentially harmful to our pets.
Alcohol, which can taste sweet and be alluring to pets, is toxic to animals. Alcohol toxicity can manifest with signs of depression, weakness, or even coma.
Glow sticks also may tantalize and grab your pet’s attention. While the iridescent substance inside these products is not typically highly toxic, ingestion can cause gastrointestinal upset and potential obstruction if large pieces are swallowed.
Bug spray or citronella products should never be applied to your pet. Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, excessive thirst, and neurologic signs. Inhalation of citronella oils can potentially cause aspiration pneumonia or other respiratory problems.
Ensure these potential hazards are kept out of your pet’s reach and immediately call ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your pet has been exposed to any toxin.
Party foods can make our pets sick. Common picnic and barbecue dishes, such as hot dogs, corn on the cob, grapes, and high-fat treats, are delicious, but they can pose a serious threat to animals.
Rich, high-fat foods, such as ribs and hot dogs, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other severe complications (including pancreatitis) in dogs and cats.
Corn cobs can be swallowed and lodge in the intestines, resulting in a serious blockage that can require surgery and hospitalization.
Grapes, onions, garlic and chocolate are all toxic for pets, with the potential to cause vomiting, hyperactivity or kidney and liver disease.
Resist the urge to give these treats to your pets. Keep low-calorie, pet-friendly treats on hand for guests to give your dog or cat during get-togethers.
Summertime is hot and humid in Texas, so review the safety implications that come with warm weather, including our Warm Weather Guidelines Blog Post.
Summer is an exciting time for most families, and we encourage you and your pets to responsibly enjoy summertime together.
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