Protecting Your Pets This 4th of July

By: Miguel Gonzalez, Behavior Programs Manager, HSPPR Pueblo

Can you believe the 4th of July is already upon us? That being said, while it’s a fun time for humans, it can be a scary and unsafe time for your pets. So, here our top six tips for keeping your pets safe this over July 4th weekend. 

1. Mind the chemicals! Lighter fluid, charcoal, citronella, and glow sticks are all things that are very common in the everyday BBQ, but even more so during the popular July 4th weekend, as many people want to stay outside as long as possible. These things should be heavily monitored as they pose a significant health risk if ingested or inhaled by your pet.

2. Much like with chemicals, there are many foods that will be easily accessible that could severely harm your pets. Here for you, in alphabetic order, are some of the mild to majorly toxic foods to be on the lookout for:

Alcohol 
Avocado 
Caffeine
Chocolate
Citrus (in large amounts) 
Coconut 
Dairy (in large amounts)
Garlic
Grapes and raisins
Heavily-seasoned foods 
Nuts
Onion 
Xylitol (used as a sweetener) 

3. Keep your veterinarian’s emergency numbers on hand and posted clearly on your fridge or in your phone. That way, in the event your pet ingests something toxic or is injured during the festivities, you can call immediately.

4. Make sure your pet has a collar and tags on at all times in case he decides to be an escape artist.

5. Fireworks of any kind should never be used around your pets. Things as assumingly harmless as a sparkler can cause horrible damage to your pets both physically and emotionally, as they can cause anxiety or even burn them. If you know fireworks or sparklers will be used, leave your four-legged buddies out of it and in a quiet room with white noise to drown out scary sounds. You can also give them project toys like a stuffed Kong or a Kong Wobbler so they have something to focus on in your absence.

6. For the more sensitive pets, get them a Thundershirt, which hug pets tightly and helps comfort them when they are scared.

We all love our pets and we want them to be part of many of the things we do. But, July 4thcan be a challenge for our pets and pose safety risks. Follow the tips above to ensure a safe and happy holiday!