Pet Peeves: How to have a panic-free Fourth of July

Pet Peeves: 4th of July

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Fourth of July weekend means many of us will be making preparations to celebrate with outdoor activities such as grilling and watching a fireworks show.

Pet owners need to keep their pets in mind while preparing for this weekend’s festivities.

Our emergency veterinarians who work during the holiday weekend have some important tips for you to remember to make sure that your beloved pets are safe and enjoy a panic-free weekend.

  • Keep pets indoors. Many cities celebrate the holiday with jaw-dropping fireworks display, which can bring loud noises and scare our four-legged friends. Keep pets inside and find a room where they can enjoy a quiet and safe environment.
  • Have updated pet identification tags. We recommend that pet owners have at least two forms of pet identification, one of which could include a microchip. Speak to your veterinarian about the benefits of getting a microchip for your pet. If your pet is already microchipped, make sure that you have registered the chip with the most up to date contact information.
  • Use a leash to walk you dog and keep your doors closed when indoors. Although large fireworks displays take place close to the city and at night, there are many individuals who get their hands on fireworks. A sudden noise could create panic in your pet and your pet could run away. Keep in mind that even you backyard might not be a safe place for your pets because being startled by a loud fireworks can cause them to jump higher and faster than normal.
  • Don’t feed your pet, or allow others, to feed your pet table scraps and bones. Feeding you pet bones can cause you to have to visit the pet emergency room because it can cause choking or an obstruction resulting in a surgery to remove it from a pet’s tummy. Be mindful of food that is toxic to our pets, including onions, apple cores, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, salt and yeast dough.
  • Consider anti-anxiety medications. If you know your dog easily panics at the sound of fireworks, talk to your family veterinarian about anti-anxiety medications. There are many medications on the market that are easy to administer and provide effective stress relief. Just make sure to select a reputable brand. It’s best to contact your primary veterinarian at least a few days in advance to come up with a stress relief plan and order medications, if needed.
  • Keep insect repellents out of reach. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach contain toxic substances and can be harmful to pets.

We urge pet owners to be watchful of their pets throughout the entire weekend. Oftentimes fireworks are set off before and after July 4th. By preparing in advance and remaining cautious, you can ensure your pet has a panic-free weekend while you celebrate and enjoy the festivities.

BluePearl Veterinary Partners is located in Grand Rapids on the Medical Mile just East of Fuller. Click here to visit their website.

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