For Your Pet News item | PAWS Chicago

Keeping Pets Safe this Fourth of July Holiday

Jun 22, 2016

The Fourth of July is a wonderful summer holiday that brings together friends and family to enjoy great food, festive drinks and of course, fireworks. But as you put the final touches on your celebration, consider the health and safety of your four-legged friends. These quick tips will ensure a happy and safe holiday celebration.

Keep Pets Indoors

  • More pets are lost over the Fourth of July than at any other time of the year. This holiday often brings with it lots of loud and sudden noises that can startle pets. Even if your pet is a seasoned outdoorsman, the panic caused by fireworks or other loud noises may make him break his restraint or jump a fence in an attempt to find safety.
  • Having a party? Guests may be going in and out of the house quite frequently. To prevent your pet from escaping, leave him in a quiet room or behind a baby gate to prevent him from getting outside.

Check Your ID

If your pet manages to break loose and become lost, having the proper identification ready can help with a quick return.

  • Microchip your pet and update the contact information so you can easily be contacted if your pet is found
  • Pets should always wear an ID tag with their name, your address and phone number
  • Have a recent picture of your pet available for signs or identification in the event he becomes lost

Let Fido Skip the Fireworks Display

  • Fireworks shows are often very crowded, noisy and may be held in a place unfamiliar to your pet. This combination may cause your beloved pet to become stressed and want to escape and seek shelter. The safest place for your pet is in the safety of his own home.
  • Having an at-home display? Best to keep your pets indoors. Lit fireworks can pose a danger to curious pets and result in severe burns. Even unused fireworks can be hazardous as some contain potentially toxic substances such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other heavy metals.

Never Leave Your Dog in an Unattended Car

Even with the windows cracked, temperatures can reach over 150 degrees in mere minutes. Your pet can overheat and suffer from heat exhaustion or even death in a matter of minutes.

Food and Drinks to Avoid

  • When pets are exposed to alcohol, they can become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Even beer is toxic; fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats.
  • You may be tempted to slip some snacks from the BBQ to your pet. But like beer and chocolate, there are other festive foods that could harm your pet. Onions, coffee, avocado, grapes and raisins, salt and yeast dough are all possible hazards for dogs and cats. Stick to pet food and pet treats.

Other Harmful Substances

Other harmful substances to keep away from your pets this holiday include:

  • Sunscreen
  • DEET, a common insecticide
  • Lighter fluid and matches
  • Citronella insect control projects
  • Glow Jewelry

Worried your pet ingested something dangerous? Call poison control at 888-426-4435.

Download these life-saving pet tips!