So as your making your plans for the 4th of July, you probably have it all laid out: the hotdogs, the hamburgers, cheese, onions, pickles, coke, coal for the fire, etc etc. The 4th is a time of celebration and remembrance, but for many pets it can be a time of stress. For some pet owners, it becomes a day of regret when a pet runs away, scared of fireworks, or is given a special treat which sends they precious pup to the emergency vet.
So, what can be done so the 4th of July is a fun day for the whole family? The following tips can help keep the whole family happy and healthy.
|Which if these dishes will hurt your pet?|
Foods for Pets to Avoid: Avocado, any fruit with a pit, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, mushrooms, nutmeg, onions, and of course chocolate can all be very dangerous for your pup.
Additionally, large amounts of garlic, specific parts of tomatoes, potatoes, and rhubarb can be toxic. Also, one thing few people think of is any "sugar free" food; Artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol (in tea, soda, cookies, etc etc) can be toxic to your pet, so when in doubt, don't share! Also, remember grill scraps and pork can upset stomachs (and possibly cause pancreatitis) so again, no sharing.
If you really would like to share a special treat with your pooch, consider some plain white rice, boiled chicken, or making a pet safe homemade dog cookie in a patriotic shape like a star, or make them some "doggy ice cream." Here are two sites which have some pet safe recipes (I would avoid anything involving bacon: DIY Dog Treats and Created by Diane: Pet Treats.
|We would like to think the 4th is |
a fun time for our pets,
for many, it is terrifying.
Next up, the Fireworks!
We would like to think that our pets would enjoy sitting outside and watching the fireworks with us under a beautiful night sky... This, however, is not always the case. May dogs become frightened by the flashes of light and loud booms. The number of lost pets rises 30% around the 4th of July, and on average, only 14% are returned to their owners... Don't let your pet be a statistic!
Some Basic Precautions should be taken to protect your pet.
- Have a Visible ID Tag - make sure the ID tag has your name, your pet's name, your phone number, and other identifying information on it. Make sure the tag is well secured to a strong and durable collar (no chewed marks, no frays).
- Get a MicroChip - A vet or shelter can chip your pet. It is a very quick procedure, minimal pain (like that of a shot) and it is a permanent way to have your pet identified, even if there is no collar on them (or if someone steals your dog). Make sure the information associated with the chip is up to date and the phone number is correct.
- Bring Them Inside - A panicked pet will find a way out of a yard. It is safer to have your pet inside in a safe and secure location, than outside with all the noise of fireworks.
- Have a Kennel - I understand many people do not want to crate their pets, however, when a pet is scared they may chew, dig, bark, and bolt. Protect your pet and your home by having a crate ready if things get intense. You can put a blanket/towel and some toys in if that helps. If you have company over who will be coming in and out of the house, a Kennel can ensure your dog doesn't slip through a door.
|What can you do to help a frightened pet feel safe?|
- Play Calming Music - I have a CD of classical piano music which I take on every dog transport for the same reason you should have it for the 4th of July: it is calming, and can drone out other noise. You can get a cheap one at Walmart or a dollar store. You could also turn on the TV (there are music channels too!) or use a white noise machine.
- Medication - If you know your dog has some serious issues with anxiety, talk to your vet. They might be able to prescribe a sedative which can help your pup calm down and not get too upset.
- ThunderShirt - A ThunderShirt uses compression to calm pups and several people have reported success with it. You can get them at some pet stores and at Bed Bath and Beyond.
- Relaxing Treats - More and more often there are treats on the market similar to Blue Tranquility Treats which contain relaxing ingredients like lavender and chamomile. I have an 80lb dog and 1/2 a treat takes the edge off, a whole one knocks her out. If you have a small dog, start with a small piece (like a 1/4 of a treat). There are other brands, but make sure they have a good track record. Many chicken treats have been linked to salmonella issues.
- Thinking Toys - These will keep your pet busy and distracted. You can hit them with a double whammy by putting the relaxing treats in the toys. We have a Kong Wobbler and it keeps our girl intensely busy.
- Use Your Voice - You are often a source of security for your pet. Talk to them calmly.
- Act Natural - If you freak out, your pet will freak out. Be your normal self, and possibly even play with your pet to make the noisy time more positive. Remember, Safety First.
- Hide It - Close the blinds and doors so your pet can't see the outside. Sometimes it is simply "out of sight out of mind." Also, if there is a part of the house which is more insulated from the sound, let them stay there.
- Go "Dog Counselor" on Your Dog - You can work on desensitizing your dog to the sound of fireworks. Get a good recording of a firework show and play it softly at first while your dog gets to eat, play, etc. Slowly increase the volume over time until your dog is accustom to the sounds.
A little planning can go a long way. Bellow is an info-graphic about how the days surrounding the 4th can affect the pet population and shelters. Don't let your best friend become a statistic.
By getting your pet and home ready you can make sure the 4th is a safe an happy time
for everyone in the family.
|Photo/Image Credit to PetAmberAlert.com|
- PetAmberAlert.com: July 4th Fireworks – Keeping Your Pet Safe
- PRWeb: More Pets Are Lost on July 4th Than Any Other Time; What To Do
- American Kennel Club: Pet-Friendly Fourth Of July Tips
- Cesar’s Tips: Fourth of July
- Dogster: Poisonous Plants and Foods for Dogs
- Kong: Interactive Dog Toys
- Romp Italian Greyhound Rescue Chicago: Homemade Dog treats
- Created By Diane: Pets
- BLUE Tranquility Tasty Chicken Natural Jerky Dog Treat
- Google Images