The Fourth of July holiday is always a great time to celebrate with friends and family — and that often includes pets.
With COVID-19 restrictions easing, you may be looking forward to hosting a party, spending time outdoors at a parade or taking in fireworks.
If your pets are involved with your plans this year, here are a few key things to remember to keep them safe and happy during July Fourth events.
Fireworks Can Be Scary
The loud booms and bangs from Fourth of July fireworks can easily frighten pets — and lead to them potentially running away.
If you’re heading out to experience a fireworks display, consider leaving your pet at home. If you can take in fireworks from your home, consider moving your pet to a safe room they are comfortable with, especially one where the sound from the fireworks will be minimal.
If your pet is outdoors and a neighbor sets off fireworks, move your pet inside.
Horses and livestock can also have negative reactions to loud noises. Make sure they are in fenced areas and as far away from the noise as possible.
After parties and fireworks are over, be sure to check your yard for any materials that may be hazardous for your pet to eat or play with.
… And So Can Large Crowds
It’s often the more the merrier with July Fourth celebrations, whether it’s a city parade or a gathering at a house.
Unfamiliar places, people and large crowds can be difficult for pets to cope with. If you’re heading out to celebrate, it’s likely best to leave your pet at home.
If you’re hosting a party, try to find a quiet and comfortable place away from new people for your pet to hang out in, or ask your guests to leave their pets at home if possible.
In addition, make sure your guests know where your pet is in your home or leave notes to ensure that a pet is not accidentally let out of a room.
Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips
Closely Monitor Food
Nothing says Fourth of July quite like a barbecue, but that can spell trouble for pets.
Never let a pet near a grill when you are using it or when it’s still hot. Barbecue-associated materials, such as raw meat, kabob skewers and charcoal, can be dangerous for pets, so keep an eye on your cooking materials or dispose of them properly.
Among the common July Fourth foods that may be toxic for dogs or cats: onions, fatty and fried foods, and chocolate desserts.
Avoid the Heat
When the temperature is too hot for you, it’s even hotter for your pet, especially on cement or asphalt.
If temperatures are extreme and humidity is high, pets belong inside. If pets are outside on hot days, they need access to plenty of cold water and shade.
And, of course, never leave a pet inside a car, especially on warm days.
Make Smart Travel Plans
July Fourth, especially this year, is a popular holiday for travel. If you’re not boarding your pet or leaving them with a sitter, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
- Make sure your pet is microchipped and has up-to-date identification tags, with your address and phone number.
- Pick accommodations that allow pets and make sure you understand a hotel’s pet policy. Even pet-friendly places may have some restrictions about size. Other types of accommodations, including campgrounds, also may have rules about pets.
- Try not to leave your pet unattended for long periods of time.
- Be sure to leave a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door if you do have to leave your pet unattended.
- Bring your primary care veterinarian’s information with you and research emergency care hospitals in the area you’re visiting.
For more pet safety tips, go to https://cvm.ncsu.edu/nc-
~Jordan Bartel/NC State Veterinary Medicine