Each year on July 4, Americans everywhere celebrate Independence Day. Typically, the day is filled with cookouts, drinks, music, and fireworks. Unfortunately, it’s also the day when the most pets are lost and is riddled with potential hazards for your four-legged friends. Here at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNEGA) we have come up with tips to keep your pets safe and happy this Fourth of July.
Avoid feeding your pets table scraps.
Barbecues and burgers galore are abundant on Independence Day. Your family and friends are out enjoying the best food and don’t want to leave out your four legged friends. Giving your pets table scraps might seem like a good idea, but switching up their diet can be harmful. Any change in your pet’s diet can cause severe indigestion and diarrhea. If you want to give something extra to your pet on this special day, give them some frozen pupsicles for a delicious and fun treat. (Go to our Cool Canines Blog Post for more info on making dog-friendly frozen treats)
Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them.
Alcoholic drinks have the potential to poison pets. Your pet may be attracted to the unfamiliar smell and want to have a taste, but it can cause them to become very intoxicated and weak. In cases of severe alcohol poisoning, pets can die from respiratory failure. Please make sure your pet drinks responsibly (aka: only water).
Protect your pet from heatstroke during festivities.
Many Fourth of July celebrations take place outside in the full sun. In order to keep your four-legged friends from experiencing heatstroke, give them access to plenty of fresh water and time in the shade or air conditioned house. Tying a slightly frozen bandanna on them or providing a small kiddie pool to lounge in are other great ways to keep them cool outdoors.
Do not apply sunscreen or insect repellent unless it is labeled specifically for use on animals.
Animals come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. If your animal has a white coat, it is a good idea to slather some sunscreen on them to protect your pet from sunburn. However, ingestion of sunscreens and insect repellents that are not for use on animals can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. Check your local pet store for pet-specific products.
Keep your pet safely away from fireworks.
Many people love to watch fireworks, but for animals they can be terrifying and they may bolt from fear.. Please resist the urge to take your pets with you to any firework celebrations. Instead keep them safe from noise in a quiet area within your home that is escape proof.
Safeguard your pet with proper I.D.
All pets, even those who live indoors, should always wear proper I.D. More pets are lost on Fourth of July than any other day of the year. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with an I.D. tag and have them micro-chipped.
Microchips help reunite lost animals with their owners if they are found away from home and are taken to a vet’s office or picked up by animal control.to be scanned for a chip. HSNEGA offers a 24 hour Pet Watch Microchips for a new LOWER PRICE of $20 for a U.S. chip. Visit our Wellness Clinic to schedule an appointment.
Written by Leah Hodges, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern