We all love those Fourth of July picnics, BBQs, fireworks and other fun traditions. But, all of these festivities don’t pose the same fun for our pets as they do us. In fact, they can be quite frightening and even dangerous for our pets. All of those loud noises from the fireworks and crowds can startle pets and cause them to run away. Even those delicious human foods that we all look forward to around the holidays can be dangerous to pets when left in the open. And, don’t forget about all of the potentially dangerous debris that can end up lying around on the ground where your pets play and eat.
So, whether or not you’re planning any Fourth of July celebrations, be sure to take the necessary precautions to keep your pet safe. Here are some tips to help you plan and protect your pet from potential hazards as you celebrate America’s birthday:
July 4th Safety Tips
- Leave pets at home. If you have plans to attend parties, firework displays, parades, etc., the best thing you can do for your pet is to just leave them at home. Unfamiliar places, crowds and loud fireworks can all be very frightening to pets. It puts them at risk of being spooked and running away, getting hurt or worse.
- Consider putting pets in escape-proof rooms or crates during parties and fireworks.
- Ask guests to help you keep an eye on your pets. If you’re planning to host guests, ask them to be mindful of your pets to make sure that they don’t escape. It’s a good idea to place notes on exit doors and gates to make certain that everyone remains aware and cautious.
- Keep pets inside. If you or anyone in your neighborhood is setting off fireworks, it’s best to just leave pets indoors for their comfort and security.
- Keep dangerous objects out of reach from pets. Things like sparklers, fireworks, charcoal, glow sticks, grill skewers, etc. are dangerous to curious pets.
- Keep pets away from open flames. Don’t let pets get near any open flames or your barbecue grill while it’s in use or still hot.
- Don’t feed pets table scraps. Try to avoid giving your pet food that’s intended for people, and be sure to ask your guests to do the same. Be especially aware and careful to keep any foods that are toxic far out of reach of pets.
- Don’t expose pets to too much sun or heat. Too much heat exposure can be dangerous to pets. Try to limit outdoor activity or keep them inside when it’s extremely hot and humid outside, and always make sure they have access to shady spots when they do go out with plenty of fresh water. Be sure you know the signs of overheating and have all emergency numbers on-hand just in case.
- Never, ever leave your pet in a hot car. While you’re running errands to prepare for your July Fourth celebrations, it’s best to leave your pet at home. Don’t let them suffer in a hot car, as vehicle interiors can heat up much faster than the air around them in a matter of just a few minutes to dangerous temperatures.
- Consider a pet sitter. If you’re travelling out of town for your holiday celebrations, consider leaving your pets at home with a sitter or boarding them. If you do have to bring them with you, be sure you know how to keep them safe at your destination.
Once all of the holiday celebrations are over, be sure to check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing your pets outside to play. Remember, even if you didn’t set them off yourself, debris can still make its way into your yard. Curious pets just might try to play with it or eat it, so plan for a thorough cleanup before you let them roam free. You should also be sure to look for any food scraps or trash debris that may be left in your pet’s path by guests or backyard BBQs.