Celebrating the Fourth of July with Your Dog
Tips for Celebrating the Fourth of July:
The Fourth of July is a time of celebration with family and friends which includes our furry friends. However, pets experience the celebration in a whole different way than human members of the family. This blog will outline some of the helpful tips and tricks to remember before celebrating the Fourth of July with your dog.
Desensitize Before Celebrating the Holiday:
It is always a good idea to keep your pets as far from the noise as possible. Desensitizing your pet with loud noises, similar to the noise of fireworks may be a good idea before the holiday. To practice this you could start playing a firework-like noise on an electronic device at a low level. Loud enough for them to hear, but not loud enough to startle them. Gradually increase the volume as they become more relaxed with the volume that you started at. While this is not a “bomb” proof method, it is a good simulation to the real thing.
Keep Your Pets Away from Fireworks:
If you just got your dog, or you don’t know if they have ever experienced fireworks before, it is best to keep them inside and away from large, crowded firework displays. It is hard to predict how a dog will react even if they have been around firework displays before. The AKC has an article outlining things to consider on this subject, check it out here.
Exposure to fireworks can cause severe burns and trauma to different parts of the animal. Unused fireworks can even be a danger for your dogs. Fireworks house toxic substances such as potassium nitrate, arsenic, and other heavy metals that could cause harm to your dog.
If it is not possible to keep your dog away from the fireworks, create a safe and comforting space for them inside your home. This will help them feel assured that nothing is going to happen to them while they are there. If your dog must be kept outside, make sure that they have proper ID on them such as a microchip or nametag on their collar. Dogs during this holiday can be very unpredictable. Knowing that they have proper ID to make it home if they do escape is a MUST.
Tools to Light Fireworks:
It is best to keep all tools to light fireworks away from your dogs as well. This means, matches, lighters, and any other tool that can be used to light a firework need to be kept out of reach. It is common that these tools contain toxic chemicals that could harm your dog if ingested.
If your dog does ingest just the plastic from the lighter, it can cause gastrointestinal blockage. It also could cause internal wounds that could lead to peritonitis. If they eat the actual fluid in the lighter, the petroleum in it could poison them. Be sure to call your veterinarian or poison control if you suspect your dog has ingested any unwanted chemicals.
Walk Your Dog Before the Fireworks Start:
Walking your dog before the fireworks start can be a good way to relieve the stress of the dog and make them more comfortable. This way they are well exercised and don’t have that on top of anxiousness to deal with.
Never leave alcoholic beverages where your pets can reach them. These drinks can potentially be poisonous to pets. They affect their bodies harsher than humans in smaller amounts. Even the littlest bit will cause the animal to become very intoxicated and weak. It could be so severe it causes the animal to go into a coma or even respiratory failure. If you suspect your pet has ingested alcohol, call your trusted veterinarian or poison control.
Sunscreen or Bug Repellent:
Using any type of human sunscreen or bug repellent that can be harmful to pets. Make sure that if you are going to have your pet outdoors for an extended period of time, and are using protectants with them that they are pet friendly or pet safe.
Talk to Your Veterinarian About Celebrating with Your Dog:
If you are also anxious about the upcoming holiday, talk with your veterinarian. They can give you more tips and tricks to keep your pet safe and comfortable during the Fourth of July. You know your dog better than anyone. Talking with your veterinarian is helpful when making decisions about what is best for your dog. Celebrating the Fourth of July can be A LOT of fun for you and your human family and friends but a frightening experience for your pets.