Vail Pet Talk column: Pet precautions for Fourth of July
How is it almost July? I’m having a hard time believing that the Fourth of July is in about a week. Where are you spending the long weekend? Whether it’s camping in a far-off place or in town enjoying the local fireworks display, please be sure to implement a plan for your pets in order to reduce their stress.
Our pets don’t associate the noise, flashes and burning smell of fireworks with celebration. They instead tend to be very scared of fireworks and are often terrified of the loud noises and flashes that they make. It has been reported by the American Humane Association that July 5 is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters. This is because dogs and cats tend to flee their homes in fright the night before, arriving at the shelters disoriented and exhausted. Start preparing now so that you can ensure your pet stays safe during the holiday weekend.
One of the easiest things to start with to ensure your pet always gets back to you is to make sure they are wearing proper identification. Be sure they have a properly fitting collar with current identification tags attached to it. Also, if your pet has a microchip, then be sure the information associated with the chip is up-to-date with the pet’s name, your phone number and, if relevant, your email address. Also, be sure to have a recent picture of your pet in case it gets lost and you need to put up notices or signs.
One of the most important things to remember for the Fourth of July is to keep your pet indoors when there are fireworks and celebrations happening. Your pet can get frightened and break a restraint or jump a fence, which can injure them and allow them to run off. If you are going to a fireworks display, then leave your pets at home. They will not enjoy being around strange people in an environment with loud bangs and flashing lights. Also, absolutely do not bring them with you and leave them in the car. Even on a cool night, a pet can suffer from heat stroke and die when left in a car.
Glow sticks are fun to have around and to celebrate with, but please keep them away from your pets. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach upset if eaten and can also pose a threat as a possible gastrointestinal foreign body. Other things to keep away from your pets while celebrating include alcohol and marijuana. These substances are very poisonous to pets and can cause dangerous intoxication and respiratory failure, which can lead to death in some cases.
Be sure to take these precautions prior to celebrating, as they will ensure your and your pet’s holiday is fun and stress free. Happy summer, and happy Fourth of July. Here’s to three-day weekends.
Liz Foster, DVM, is an associate veterinarian at Mountain Mobile Vet and The Animal Hospital Center. She can be reached at 970-328-7085.
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