Independence Day is a great time to celebrate our country’s independence, but it’s important to keep our furry family members in mind while we celebrate. When grilling out in the backyard or attending festivals or other public events, it may be tempting to bring a pet along, but some food and activities can be hazardous to our pets.
- Loud noises from fireworks are scary for pets. Pets taken to a crowded fireworks display can become anxious, frightened and/or disoriented. Along with this comes the urge to run, and others who try to help a lost dog during this time could be bitten by one of these frightened pets. The same is true if your pet is in your own yard and fireworks are being set off in the neighborhood. Instead, leave them at home in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area. Play soft music to help keep them calm.
- Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of reach. Certain matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and cause breathing difficulty. Additionally, lighter fluid can irritate the skin, and, if ingested it can cause gastrointestinal irritation or breathing problems.
- Food and drinks that are commonly found at barbeques and festivals can be poisonous to our furry friends. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and even comas. Similarly, snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet. Any change in diet, even one meal, may cause severe digestive ailments. Avoid grapes, raisins, chocolate and any products which contain the sweetener xylitol.
- Always make certain that your pet wears identification. If your pet does escape and is found by a citizen or animal control, the pet can be easily reunited with you with proper ID. Dog licenses are required by law, but additional identification can always help ensure a safe return, so consider microchips, a rabies vaccination tag and/or a personal identification tag. If you are interested in having your dog microchipped, the Animal Resource Center provides them for $25.
During this time of the year, the Animal Resource Center receives many calls from people who have lost their pet. If this happens to you, immediately check with the ARC to see if your pet has come to the shelter. Also search the area where the pet was lost, ask around if others saw them, and post lost flyers in the neighborhood.
Keep these tips in mind this 4th of July and be safe!