With all the excitement and preparation that occurs as we celebrate our nation’s independence on the Fourth of July, our dogs are often not a part of the planning. While we’re busy enjoying food, drinks, summertime sun and fireworks, our unattended pets may be hiding under the bed or in the bathtub and could be more fearful than festive. What is it about Independence Day and other holidays that frighten our pets?
Loud Noises and Pets
By the time their hearing develops at 21 days old, puppies can hear 4 times the distance as humans and perceive a broader range of high-pitched frequencies from 67-45,000 Hz, compared to a human range of 64-23,000 Hz. Imagine the high-pitched squeal of a firework launching into the air followed by a blast 4 times as powerful as the sound we hear. Now imagine you have no idea what caused that noise. Painful? Scary? You bet!
To help ease your pup as much as possible and keep them safe during Independence Day festivities, here are some tips:
Pet Safety Tips for Independence Day
Leave Your Pet at Home
Resist the urge to bring your pet with you to the party. Take a cue from your dog if they like to hide when they hear loud noises or experience unfamiliar things. An enclosed interior place can provide a quiet escape for your pet. If they take comfort in their crate, you can use a heavy quilt to throw over the top for an added sound barrier.
Anxiety-Reducing Items for Pets
Thundershirts securely swaddle your dog, providing a calming sensation and some relief for about 50% of pets. Even playing classical music in the background can help alleviate stress and drown out other noises.
Anti-anxiety supplements such as valerian root, Bach Flower essence (Rescue Remedy), Adaptil pheromones, melatonin or the L-theanine found in the chewable Composure are all aids. For especially anxious dogs, salivating, pawing the ground, whining or destroying bedding and walls, taking prescription medication available through your veterinarian may be advisable.
Be sure to get your vet’s recommendation before pursuing supplements or medication for your pup. If you do choose to supplement or medicate, it’s best to do a test run a few weeks prior to the Fourth of July so that you can witness the medication’s effect on your dog and whether it works.
Keep Toxic Foods Away
With an abundance of grilling food and drinks readily accessible to humans at the party, dogs may take advantage and snatch a few bites for themselves. Chocolate, garlic, onions, grapes or raisins and high fatty foods should be kept away from your pets. Pancreatitis, intestinal blockages and diarrhea are common ailments treated at emergency clinics around the holidays.
Micro-chipping and Updated ID Tags
Because we are often distracted, our pets can take a backseat to party preparations, guests and the celebration. It’s common for dogs to try to sneak past an open door during a party. This can lead to them wandering past your property line and potentially getting hurt.
At a minimum, make sure your pet has a microchip and current ID tags in case they breach security. If your dog has a habit of slipping past you, make sure that doors and gates are always securely closed.
Beware of Hot Temperatures
Temperatures are often quite high during the month of July. Because your dog can only release heat via panting and the few glands on their footpads, they are prone to heatstroke. Help your pet stay cool by keeping them in an air-conditioned space with water and shade.
Check your Yard for Firework Debris
After the Fourth of July celebrations, explore the remains of your backyard party and search the space before you let your dog out. You may be surprised to find a still-warm grill, a cell phone, corn cob, fizzled sparklers and other debris littering the ground. All these things can be hazardous to your pet.
Keep these Fourth of July pet safety tips in mind, and have a happy and safe Independence Day!
For all your future celebration needs, we’re here to help! We’ll scoop your pet’s poop on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or one-time basis to ensure your yard is poop-free and ready for guests.