4th of July can be a time of fun, sun, and good food. However, for our pups, it can pose significant safety hazards and anxiety or fear. We are here to keep the day fun and safe for everyone! Together we can avoid toxic foods, fear of loud noises, and the dangers of heat and sun. Read on to make sure you are ready to help keep this weekend great for everyone, furry or not!
Foods your dog should avoid during 4th of July festivities
Of course, let’s start with food, everyone’s favorite! Although it may be so very tempting to give into those puppy dog eyes and drooling mouths while you bite into some BBQ, let us urge you to PLEASE do not give in! The foods below can be both toxic and dangerous for your pup, so make sure to at least these foods:
- Onions & garlic - these are toxic to your pups system!
- Cooked bones of any kind - bones have an ability to splinter and split while chewing or even in their digestive tract, causing obstruction.
- Corn on the cob - corn on the cob poses a potential threat of choking
- Sweets of any kind - excess sugar in general does not sit well with your dog’s digestion, but artificial sweeteners (a very common one is xylazine) are toxic for your dog, so avoid any and all!
If your dog does accidentally get into one of these foods, make sure to call your vet right away - they will be able to direct you towards the best plan of action. If your dog does happen to get a hot dog or hamburger piece, they typically will be ok! They are not toxic, but an excess amount can cause gastric distress. Make sure to keep any eye on their stools to make sure all is normal.
Pro-tip: Prepare for the weekend of tasty smells and an abundance of food with a few frozen peanut butter kongs or your dogs favorite treats to help avoid dropping a few scraps.
Outdoor Activity and Swimming
This weekend typically brings outdoor adventures, park activities, and swimming! Although these things are awesome for your dog, the hot summer days can also turn quite dangerous very quickly. When we are having a blast outside, over exhaustion and dehydration can sneak up quickly, even when swimming. They depend on you to help regulate. Be on the lookout for these signs:
- Excessive panting
- Thick drool
- Tacky/Dry gums - gums that look pale, muddy, white or blue in color
- Sunken eyes
- Loss of skin elasticity (if you pinch your pups skin, and it does not immediately snap back to its place, it may be a sign of dehydration)
If your dog shows any of these symptoms, make sure to bring them into the air conditioning or in front of a fan, offer small amounts of water every few minutes, and apply cool damp towels on their underbellies, their ears, and under their legs in their “armpit” area.
Pro-tip: make sure to have PLENTY of water out, whether you are home or out and about. You can also plan ahead and freeze some tasty treats in your freezer of mashed bananas or watermelon with water in ice trays!
Fireworks & loud celebrations
Fireworks, sparklers, and other loud, bright celebrations have a tendency to cause major fear and anxiety in our pets. This day sadly brings many run-away pets that fled in fear during the celebrations that end up lost and displaced. It is so very important to prepare for this event! Here is our checklist of things to do before and during the night:
- Be sure to be home and inside with your pet. If left alone, they can cause harm to themselves and your home while under immense stress.
- Close all blinds and windows to block out the sight and sounds of the fireworks & other noises.
- Drown out the noise with music, TV, fans, or air conditioners to help reduce the loud bangs.
- Invest in a thundershirt before the day comes! These shirts are designed to apply gentle, constant pressure to calm all types of anxiety, fear, and over-excitement issues.
- If you know this day is a particularly hard day for your pet, talk to your vet about anti-anxiety medications or calming supplements for your dog.
With all of these in mind, don’t ever hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns leading up to the celebrations. We do ask if you are inquiring about medications, to do so as soon as possible, as there is usually a high demand for them!
We wish you a very happy, and safe, summer weekend!