While it’s important to enjoy the holiday, it’s also important to keep your dog in mind when making plans. Dr. Tina Wismer, Medical Director at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center shares some of her most helpful 4th of July safety tips with us.
We encourage you to utilize these simple yet effective tips to ensure a safe and happy holiday for both you and your pet.
1. Keep Fireworks, Both New and Used, Away From Your Pets:
Whether they’re still in the package or burnt to a crisp, Dr. Wismer recommends keeping all fireworks away from your dogs. While we all know fireworks are noisy and will scare your pets, ingesting fireworks presents another danger.
“Fireworks contain certain compounds that can cause your dog to vomit or even change their blood so they can’t carry oxygen,” warned Dr. Wismer. “Make sure to keep them away from your pets and throw your fireworks away appropriately.”
2. Leave Your Pets At Home During the Fireworks Display:
“When it is time to light off the fireworks it is time to put the pets away inside where they are safe,” stated Dr. Wismer. “We don’t want our pets to get scared, burnt, run away or try to eat the fireworks. You and I may think that the display the city puts on is gorgeous but our dogs certainly don’t recognize that. All they hear is a loud boom which can be very distressing to them.”
3. Do Not Allow Your Pets To Wear Your Glow Jewelry—No Matter How Much They May Beg:
“During the 4th of July we get a lot of calls about glow jewelry,” said Dr. Wismer. “Dogs and especially cats are fascinated with the bright neon colors. For some reason our pets think they’re great to play with and may decide to bite your glow necklace, bracelets or earrings.”
According to Dr. Wismer the jewelry contains a bitter substance called dibutyl phthalate which will cause your pet to drool and foam at the mouth and try to run away.
“Fortunately the amount of dibutyl phthalate that’s in glow-jewelry is not going to poison your pet but it tastes horrible,” stated Dr. Wismer. “When the dogs bite into it they start drooling horribly–they look so sad.”
4. Keep Your Dog Hydrated to Help Prevent Heat Exhaustion:
“If you are going on a beach holiday or any holiday for that matter, you need to be careful that your animal doesn’t get overheated,” stated Dr. Wismer. “Dogs decrease their body heat by panting and when they pant they lose a lot of body water. Staying hydrated will help keep your dog’s body temperature down while decreasing the chances of kidney failure.”
5. Grill With Caution:
According to Dr. Wismer it is important to keep the lighter fluid and any kind of grease drippings away from your pooch. She says the grease can cause stomach upset and possibly something called pancreatitis that can be life-threatening.
She also recommends keeping your dog away from foods like chocolate, onions, garlic and alcohol which can be poisonous for dogs. Make sure to keep your pup away from junk food as well to avoid stomach upset. “If your dog is not used to eating a bunch of junk food like hot dogs and chips and things like that, now is not the time to start, ” reminded Dr. Wismer.
7. Take a bit of home with you when you travel:
According to Dr. Wismer the more familiar things you bring for your dog while traveling, the more comfortable he will remain throughout your trip. For example, if your dog is used to drinking well water, he may be less inclined to go for city water causing him to drink less and increasing the chances he’ll experience dehydration.
Dr. Wismer also recommends bringing your dog’s food along for the ride to avoid stomach upset or diarrhea.
8. Practice Makes Perfect:
“The Holidays are not the time to take your dog for a long ride when it has never been in the car before,” urged Dr. Wismer. “Take short trips with your dog beforehand to acclimate them to travel. We want to make sure your pets are not going to get car sick and we want to know they’re not going to bark, whine and cry the entire time. Do everything and anything you can to make traveling as comfortable as you can for your pet. “
Written By: Christine White