The 4th of July is a wonderful time to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in the U.S.A. It’s also a day off for many people, allowing us to spend time with our loved ones including our pets. While many people have heard fireworks and pets don’t mix, there are other areas of 4th of July festivities that should be considered to keep your pet free from the need for emergency care. Below are a few 4th of July pet safety tips to consider:

Be Mindful of the BBQ

Barbecue and cookouts are a big part of the festivities for many families. It feels nice for pets to be included and it’s important to keep safety in mind from set up to clean up. Bones and skewers from the grill should be disposed of in a way that prohibits your pet from getting to them. Corn cobs will not pass through a dog intestine but are so tempting for curious pups so those also should be out of reach. All cooking utensils should be kept in hand and out of reach as some dogs will try to consume them to get every bit of flavor they can. If you would like your dog to have a treat consider healthier options including dog ice cream or frozen veggie or fruit bars with the sticks removed. Be certain that if you do indulge your dog with even tiny amounts of people food that there are no hazardous ingredients including xylitol (a sugar substitute), grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and chocolate.

4th of July Pet Safety with Fireworks

When the time comes for fireworks that is an excellent time for pets to move well into the confines of the home and away from the sights and sounds of the night sky. Even when resting in the home your pet should have identification on a collar and microchipped identification just in case they get out and lost. While in the home a number of supports can alleviate the stress some pets feel on the 4th. Your pets’ own veterinarian can advise you best on supplements or medication if your pets’ anxiety is severe. Other supports include: compression garments to help reduce anxiety, soothing music to drown out outside noise, long lasting treats like food stuffed hard rubber toys, and hanging out with your pet doing something you enjoy together like watching TV.

4th of July Pet Safety: Leftovers

The day after the fourth of July be cautious in walking your dog to ensure he does not eat any trash from used fireworks. Displaced barbecue items should also be redeposited in the trash as wildlife may unfortunately move it from the trash to a walking path.

We hope that these 4th of July pet safety tips are helpful to you and that you have a festive and safe Fourth of July with your family!

Written by: Dr. Kerry Muhovich


Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice

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