The Fourth ofPuppy in fourth of july decorations July is a time of celebration, but to your pets it can be a distressing time. The very same fireworks that bring joy to the rest of your family are sure to freak out your animals. If your dog has the chance, he is liable to take off running, trying to escape what he perceives to be danger. This is why shelters get inundated with lost dogs around the July 4th holiday. In addition to this, there are accidents that happen where dogs get hurt at family picnics. Take some precautions with these safety tips for pets on July 4th to make sure your pets don’t become another statistic. Prepare Ahead of Time It is a good idea to make sure that your dog has had plenty of exercise before the festivities begin. This will help him to calm down when it’s time for the fireworks to commence. Before the big day, make sure that your pets have been fitted with an ID tag that clearly states your name and your phone number. Better yet, get a microchip implanted to make sure that you get your animal back if he gets lost. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to make sure you have a recent picture of your pet in case you have to put up flyers later on. Keep Dogs Safely at Home Even though the idea of taking your pet along with you to celebrate makes you all warm and fuzzy, it is not going to be a good experience for them. Crowds, noise and unfamiliar territory can become a recipe for disaster. Don’t fool yourself by thinking your dog can stay safely locked in your car, because doing this puts your dog at risk for a heat stroke. If you go out to see fireworks, it is a good idea to not leave your cat and dog alone at home, however. Try asking a neighbor to visit while you are gone. You may decide to stay home and set off some fireworks of your own. However, this doesn’t mean your dog or cat is going to be more comfortable with it, just because they see you are the one creating the noise. Keep your fireworks away from your pets. Not only will you make them nervous, severe burns and trauma to the face and paws can occur if there is an accident. Keep Things Calm Your pet needs a space of their own where they can feel safe and comfortable. There is no better time to put your dog in their crate than during a fireworks display. Dogs feel safe when they are in a small enclosed area. Whether you choose to put him in a crate or not, you need to lower the blinds and close the curtains to help block out the outside world. If you have a cat, create a safe haven for them by setting up a special bed for them. If you don’t have a cat bed, you can simply take a few boxes and put them on their sides and place towels inside of them. This gives your cat their own little space to hide from the noise. Now it is time to make sure their surroundings are as calm as they can be. Play soft music in the background and speak in a soothing tone to your pet. Only Give Dogs What Is Intended for Them Your grilled hamburgers may be the best recipe on the block but they are not for your dog to eat. Feeding your pet table food is done so at a risk to their health. Onions, salt and coffee are three foods you might have around on July 4th that are dangerous to feed your pet. In case you have the idea of slipping your dog a little beer during your backyard BBQ, beware that if you do this you are poisoning your pet. The fermented hops and ethanol found in beer are poisonous to animals and can bring unexpected results. Other than just becoming intoxicated, the dog can slip into a coma or in severe cases die of respiratory failure. If you decide to apply sunscreen or insect repellent to your dog, be sure that it is a product that is intended to be used on dogs alone. Put Away Dangerous Items More than just the fireworks themselves, there are other things that can pose a danger to their health. Two of these are matches and lighter fluid. If matches are swallowed, it can cause them to have difficulty breathing, damage blood cells or cause kidney disease. With lighter fluid, swallowing it will cause gastric problems, irritation if it gets on their skin and respiratory problems if inhaled. Another risky item to beware of is citronella. According to the ASAPCA, citronella-based products are irritating to pets. Put away citronella sprays and candles. Inhaling them can cause pneumonia and ingesting them can harm the pet’s nervous system. Glow sticks are another dangerous item to avoid. If they are ingested, they can cause irritation in their gut at the least, and at the worst it can cause an intestinal blockage. Be Careful Going in and Out To prevent an unwanted escape by your pet, be sure to be careful when going in and out of your home. Make sure that your doors are shut tightly and that

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