The 4th of July. The day we celebrate the Declaration of Independence. A day where people congregate, have parties, drink a little too much, and enjoy the plethora of festivities our country has to offer.
It has become a ritual for us Americans to put on bigger and better parties every year, have the best fireworks show, cook the most delicious BBQ, and make it a memorable day with family and friends.
So let us ask you this, what happens when the fireworks have been lit, the margaritas pitcher is empty, the food has been eaten, and everyone has gone home for the night?
Many wake up the next day, July 5th, with a bigger mess to clean up than the aftermath of a grand celebration.
Did you know that July 5th is the busiest day of the year for pet shelters, local city pounds, and animal rescue organizations all over the country?
Why, you ask?
Because more pets go missing over the 4th of July than any other time of the year, while the fun has been had, the preparations needed to keep your pets safe were either not planned or considered not necessary.
So how do we prevent this from happening to your family?
Here is what you need to know to prepare for July 4th so that the only thing you will be dealing with on July 5th is a minor hangover.
Keep It Close To Home Before The Festivities
There are loads of activities and events throughout the day that you may want to do with your family on July 4th. Bring the kids, bring the grandparents, but consider leaving one child at home- your fur baby.
We all love to bring our dogs with us to places; however, not every place is ideal for your pets.
Preventing your dog from walking through overcrowded events will be doing your pets a real favor. Dog’s don’t like feeling claustrophobic, and walking through crowds will only cause them to overheat faster, eat things off the ground they shouldn’t be eating, and be sounded by loud noises or loud music.
In addition, their potential to become anxiety-ridden is significantly higher than leaving them in the comfort of their own home.
Exercise Is Key Today
Exercise is vital today. The more activity you can provide your dogs earlier in the day will help tire them out later on in the day.
For example, if you want to take your dog for a walk, walk them in areas that you can be confident aren’t overcrowded or keep them in your neighborhood. In addition, your dogs do not need to go to the local parade or fireworks display with you.
Providing them with exercise and activities of their own will allow them to tire out, eliminate any pent-up energy, and use the facilities.
Leave Them At Home For The Fireworks Display
Year after year we see pet parents bringing their dogs to watch fireworks. We can promise you they aren’t interested, and more importantly that they are truly frightened by the display of lights, loud booms and pops, and want to jump out of their skin and run for their lives.
For dogs who already have behavioral problems such as anxiety, fear of new people, new sounds, new places, or are generally shy, pet parents are asking for trouble by exposing their pups to environments such as this.
Younger dogs’ personalities can be affected for life when subjected to traumatic events such as large firework displays. We can’t stress it enough – leave your pets at home; you will thank us we promise!
Keep Their Paws Off The Food
Please don’t give in to your pets when they come up to you begging for food. Sometimes being the responsible guardian and dog mom and dad means that you need to do what’s best for your pets, even if their stomachs protest. July 4th is known for the BBQs that sizzle nationwide. If you are hosting the July BBQ this year, here are some tips to ensure you keep your pets safe:
- Keep them away from the grill. It may be common sense, but you have no idea how many pets get burned. The temptation for food will conquer their instincts.
- Keep the candy, chocolate, and other treats for the kids out of reach of your four-legged kids. Many of these goodies have ingredients such as Xylitol that can be deadly to your pets.
- Don’t give in to the puppy dog’s eyes; if the meat is attached to a bone, debone before giving it to your pets. Cooked bones can easily splinter and get lodged in their gastrointestinal tract.
- Keep the leftovers for the human patron. Leftovers can lead to obesity and, even worse, pancreatitis.
Pet Proofing Your Home
Our pets are family; they mean the world to us, and just because we love the July 4th celebrations doesn’t mean it’s as festive to our pets. Who knows, they likely have it circled on their calendar as DoomsDay. That is how much anxiety this day can give to all pets, not just your dogs! So to keep them safe, we need to keep them indoors.
We highly suggest bringing all your pets inside on the 4th of July. Especially when night falls, and the fireworks begin
Create a cozy spot that they will feel safe and comfortable in. Then, ensure you’ve situated them there well before the fireworks begin.
By creating a safe space that is escape-proof, you will be helping your family and your pets from a horrible situation; and protecting your pets from becoming scared, hurting themselves, or destroying your home.
Here is how to make it a safe place:
- Lower the blinds
- Close the windows
- Provide them with their creature comforts such as their bed and favorite toys
- Give them a special treat to distract them
- Turn on the TV or radio to help mask the sound
- Make sure all doors are locked and secured
For more information about firework safety, check out our blog that gives you other tips and suggestions to keep your pet safe this July 4th.