As we speak, people around the country are stocking up on fireworks and party supplies for this upcoming Fourth of July. Impressive shows will light up the sky and families will “ooh” and “ahh”. While the festivities may be exciting for adults and children alike, they can spell disaster for our four legged companions. Here are three steps you can take to keep your beloved pets safe this year.
First, fireworks present the largest hazard to your animal’s welfare. Loud noises, bright lights, small children with sparklers, it’s enough to frighten even the most calm and easy going pooch. Never take your dogs to a fireworks display (this includes professional and your friend of a friend who managed to sneak passed the cops waiting just off the Indian reservation). You know this is all fun and games, but your dog is just plain terrified. They should have a safe place (inside – please do not leave your dog locked up outdoors – ever, but especially on this holiday). If they are crate trained, make sure they have cozy blankets and comforting toys to entertain them and help them feel safe. You may even want to turn the T.V. on if you are going to be out so they are distracted from the craziness outside. If you are home, try to keep them entertained by playing with them or teaching them how to paint. You may be tempted to cuddle them, but this may signal to them that there is actually something to worry about. Keep the snuggling to a minimum until the world has stopped exploding outside your door.
The second step is protecting against edible danger. Party throwers will have snacks and drinks sitting around just waiting for little noses to get into them. Monitor Fido and make sure he doesn’t find his way into your flag shaped cake and your brother in law doesn’t try to get the dog drunk. (Dogs are notoriously angry drunks, though a few have been known to dance on top of tables when under the influence- either way, dogs + spirits = vet bills and embarrassing pictures on the internet.)
The third step is for the morning after. No, this doesn’t refer to the hangover if Princess does get into the beer. This refers to the debris that will be littering the streets and possibly your backyard. When fireworks explode, they don’t just dissipate into the atmosphere. What goes up, must come down, and if your dog finds it, she’s going to have a taste. Do a quick cleanup around your house and make sure Tiny doesn’t have a snack during his walk.
Keeping your pets safe ensures that everyone can have a wonderful Fourth of July!