For humans, fireworks are a fun, exciting way to celebrate holidays, especially the Fourth of July. However, for our furry friends, fireworks are much less exciting and often cause your pets’ anxiety. To ensure that you and your pets have a stress free Fourth of July, we have compiled a list of tips to help keep your pet safe, and prevent any unwanted stress.

Chill Out

The first thing that we suggest is to create a safe space for your pet to stay during the fireworks display. This could be a room, a crate, or anywhere that your pet feels comfortable enough to relax as if it were just a normal day. Keeping your pet as comfortable as possible will give them one less thing to worry about when the fireworks start. Keeping a radio, TV, or some kind of white noise playing in the background is another good way to keep your pet at ease. This white noise will attempt to muffle out the sound of the fireworks, or simply distract them so that they believe that the noise is coming from a more familiar source. It is also important to keep the curtains closed in the room that your pet is staying in. Preventing them from seeing the unpredictable flashing lights of the fireworks will help them remain calm and relaxed.

If your pet has a favorite toy, blanket, or treat, place that in the room or crate with them as well. By giving them something that excited them, it will be easier to keep their attention from what is happening outside. Kong is a great brand of dog toys that we offer at Lazy 5 Vets and is highly recommended by veterinarians, trainers, and dogs everywhere!

Don’t Get Lost

No pet owner plans to have their pet run away, but unfortunately; these things happen.  Microchipping your pet is a great way to ensure that you will always know where they are and prepare for the worst. Fireworks often cause our pets’ anxiety and their fight or flight instincts are sometimes triggered by loud noises and sudden bright lights, causing them to run away. A good tip to help prevent this is to check your outdoor fenced-in areas for holes or gaps that your pet could potentially fit through. It is always a good idea to keep your pet indoors during a firework display, but if they are kept outside, this is one way to ensure that they cannot escape. If you do not have a fenced-in area for your pet, microchipping is another form of insurance you could rely on. Microchipping your pet is a painless procedure where a chip the size of a grain of rice is inserted right under their skin. Here at Lazy 5 Vets, we offer microchipping for pets. To learn more about how microchipping can benefit your pet, call our office and we can answer any questions you may have.  Making sure that your pet has a name tag with updated information is also important. If your pet is not microchipped and runs away, this is still an effective way to help find them.

There might also be an instance when you are out with your dog and suddenly fireworks go off in the background. Again, their fight or flight instincts may cause them to want to bolt away from the noise. Having a collar that fits your dog, and a leash that is strong will prevent your pet from getting away from you. At Lazy 5 Vets, we recommend collars and leashes from either Lupine Collars and Leads or Weaver Leathers. Both of these brands guarantee the best quality and are even chew proof!

Party Animal

The Fourth of July can be a messy holiday with firework debris being scattered aimlessly, trash left lying around after an outdoor barbeque, and glow sticks left behind by small children. All of this can make your pet very sick and can possibly be deadly. To help keep your pet as safe as possible, it is important to keep them isolated from all of the action. We all love our furry friends, but sometimes it is better to leave them at home, or kept in a crate for their safety.  If your pet is going to be around during your Fourth of July celebration, just be aware of your surroundings and also ask your guests to be cautious about what they drop on the ground. Doing a periodic sweep of the area to ensure that charcoal or sparklers are not left on the ground can go a long way in protecting our beloved animals.

Small items like glow sticks and beads may seem enticing to our pets who simply do not know any better, and they may eat them thinking they’re a treat. This can be very hazardous and may cause serious harm to your pet. Make sure that if you are distributing these souvenirs at your party, or if your pet is in an area where these items could be in their reach, that you are keeping them on a leash and out of harms way.

Stay Cool

It is no secret that July Fourth falls right in the middle of the hottest part of the year. It is extremely hard for us humans to stay comfortable and deal with the heat and humidity, much less our pets who have a permanent fur coat. It is easy for us to shed layers in an attempt to stay cool, but our furry friends are not as lucky. Now think of how uncomfortable we would feel if we had a permanent winter coat that could not be removed. This is also how our pets are feeling. Fireworks do nothing but add to the stress that our pets are already facing during these hotter months. By keeping them in a cool climate as much as possible on Independence Day. This is a simple, extra step that aids in the process of keeping our pets as comfortable as possible. By removing a factor such as heat, pets now only have one uncomfortable element to deal with when they hear the loud noises and see the bright flashes. This simple precautionary step can go a long way in keeping your pet calm and comfortable this Independence Day.

Normal Diet

Everyone loves celebrating Independence Day at a barbeque with family and friends. Giving your dog treats or scraps that fall to the ground may seem fine, but you may actually be doing more harm than you think. Foods that are fine for humans to eat, maybe very hazardous to our pets. Older dogs that have more delicate digestive systems can become severely ill when given the wrong type of food. Keeping alcoholic beverages out of reach of our pets is also important. Alcohol has the potential to poison your pet, and may even leave them in a coma. Keeping your pet on their normal diet of cat or dog food will remove one more stressor from their environment and keep things as normal as possible for them. If you are in need of food for your pet, check out our online resources for treats and pet food that can be shipped right to your door!

If your pet happens to digest something that you believe could be harmful to them, do not hesitate to call our clinic at 704.636.1100. Our normal business hours are Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., closed between 1 – 2 p.m. for lunch every day. Saturdays we are open 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and Sundays, we are closed. Any time after that, please call Cabarrus Emergency Clinic at 704.932.1183.

Summer months also bring in fleas and ticks that may pose problems for your pets. For tips on how to help prevent itching and scratching, check out our flea and tick blog.