Independence Day can be a dangerous and terrifying time for dogs. While firework displays solemnize the birth of our nation, the loud bangs, flashes of light and smells of burning pyrotechnics can trigger a panic-induced nightmare for our pups. According to the Indiana Proactive Animal Welfare, Inc., July 5 is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters as countless dogs are lost or injured attempting to escape the noise. These tragedies can easily be prevented if owners take the necessary precautions. Here are some tips and strategies from petMD to keep your pet safe and calm on the Fourth of July.
Keep your Pet Indoors at All Times!
It may seem obvious, but even if your pet is used to being outside, the resulting panic caused by fireworks or other loud noises may make them break their restraint or jump a fence in a terrified attempt to find safety.
Have Your Pet Properly Identified
If your pet manages to break loose and become lost, without proper identification it will be that much harder to get them back. Consider fitting your pet with microchip identification, ID tags with their name and your phone number, or both. It is also a good idea to have a recent picture of your pets in case you have to put up signs.
Going to a Fireworks Display? Leave Your Pet at Home
The safest place for your pet is at home, not in a crowded, unfamiliar and noisy place. The combination of too many people and loud fireworks will make your beloved pet freak out and desperately seek shelter. Locking them in the car is also not an option; your pet may suffer brain damage and heat stroke.
Don’t Put Insect Repellant on Your Pet that isn’t Specifically for Pet Use
The same tip applies to applying “people” sunscreen on your pet. What isn’t toxic to humans can be toxic to animals. The ASPCA lists the poisonous effects of sunscreen on your pet as, “…drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.” DEET, a common insecticide, may cause neurological issues.
Alcoholic Drinks Can Poison Pets
If your pet drinks alcohol, they can become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Yes, even beer is toxic; fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats.