Have a Pet Safe 4th of July

July 3, 2014184302210_f4ad1ac58a_z

July 5th is notoriously the busiest day for shelters nationwide. With the booming of fireworks and crowds of people, pets are not only running away from home, but also becoming sick and tragically dying every year on the 4th of July. Eco News Network has some easy tips to help keep your pet happy and safe this Independence Day.

Keep Calm. Your pets can read you as well as you can read them. By giving them more attention and trying to calm them down before they’ve really become spooked, you allow them to believe that there is something worth getting worked up about. The key is to treat this day like it is any other day for them.

Stick to a normal diet. Treating them like this is any other day; remember to feed your pets at their normal times. It’s easy to forget while you’re tending to a grill or getting the backyard ready, but changing their schedule is going to add unneeded stress. That also means keeping the food they eat the same. Avoid giving them food from the table food that will upset their stomach. Keep alcohol out of your pets reach, it is toxic!

Keep your pet inside. Even if your pet does not normally show signs of stress with loud noises, you never know how he/she will react. They may normally be an outdoor dog, but you never know when they will become spooked and jump that fence. It’s better to keep them cooped up for a night, then have the chance of them wandering the streets.

Bug Spray and Sunscreen. 4th of July is known for being a long hot day spent outdoors with friends and family. Just like humans need to be protected from bugs and the sun, so do pets. Pets with short hair or white fur are especially prone to sun burns. Your family sun screen and bug spray, however, are not good options for your pet. They have chemicals, such as deet, that are toxic to animals. Consider brands like Epi-Pet, to keep your pet protected.

Tag your pet. In the event that your pet does get out during the cracking of the firework finale, peace of mind can come in knowing that your pet can be found. Keep their collar on with their tag and get them micro-chipped as a back up.

4th of July may be a blowout for you and your friends, but it’s probably not for your pet. It’s important to keep them happy and, most of all, safe. We hope you have a pet safe 4th of July this year!

-Malissa Stark

Photo Credit: Flickr/ Troy Mason