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Summer: Fourth of July Safety Tips

North Shore Animal League America would like to offer a few simple tips so that your Independence Day celebration is festive but not frantic for your pets.

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Never take your pets to a fireworks display:
Firework displays can be great fun, but not for your pets. The loud noises and bright lights can terrify an animal. Even the best-behaved dog may react with fear and try to flee from the scene, which can lead him right into traffic or get him lost.

Give your pets a safe and quiet retreat:
If your pets get spooked by the Fourth of July festivities, it’s important that they have a safe and quiet place to relax. Whether you secure a room of the house or blanketed crate, they should have someplace “den-like” to retreat to. Draw the curtains to block out the lightshow, and try putting the TV or radio on at a low volume as a distraction or as company for them if you go out. Make sure to KEEP THEM INSIDE for their own protection.

Create a problem-free environment:
If you decide to go out and leave your pets at home, it’s a good idea to pet-proof your home. A nervous animal can become destructive, so it’s best to clear the area of anything he may ingest or hurt himself on if he becomes frantic or nervous. If you know your pet doesn’t react to fireworks well, try not to leave him unattended. Make sure windows and doors are secured in case they try to “break-out. If your pet has extreme fear of fireworks, you may want to consult with your vet for some relaxation ideas.

Monitor what your pet eats and drinks:
If you are entertaining guests, make sure to let them know not to feed your pet party food or beverages of any kind. Many foods are harmful to pets, and your guests may not be aware of this. It is also hard to monitor how much your pets are eating in a social setting. So to avoid illness, it’s best to let everyone know not to feed them any party fare.

Use distraction techniques:
If you are home with your pet and he is exhibiting nervous behavior like whimpering or pacing, try distracting him with his favorite toys, games or snacks. Too much coddling may make your pet suspect that there is something to be afraid of.

Keep your pet cool and hydrated:
Usually, the Fourth of July can be a scorcher. It can take only minutes for heat exhaustion to set in, so be sure to keep your pet’s environment well ventilated and cool; and leave plenty of fresh, cool water for them to drink. NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN A HOT CAR. Imagine being trapped in a hot car in a fur coat. Even with the windows cracked, your pet can overheat and become ill or even die.

Make sure your pet is identifiable:
In the instance that your pet runs off in a frantic frenzy, it’s imperative to make sure that his collar is on with his identification tags. Secure the collar so that your pet can’t squeeze out if it. You should be able to fit two fingers underneath the collar so that it’s roomy enough for comfort and snug enough for safety. If your pet runs off, you want to try to ensure his return.

Watch out for Independence Day debris:
When you let your pets out or take them for walks the day after, remember that the streets and your yard are likely to be littered with firework debris. These may seem like tasty treats or fun things to nibble on to your pets. Make sure to clean up before letting your companions out to rummage through it.

Happy Fourth of July!
North Shore Animal League America would like to wish everyone and their pets a happy, healthy and safe Fourth of July holiday. By enforcing a few simple techniques, your Independence Day can be filled with exciting festivities and free of frantic pets. Be safe and have a blast!

 

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