The Fourth of July: There’s nothing like celebrating freedom by having fun with friends at backyard barbecues and fireworks shows. But, the Fourth of July often isn’t as fun for our furry friends. Keep these tips in mind to enjoy a safe Independence Day with your pets.

Tip #1: Prevent your pet from experiencing gastrointestinal problems
Think the barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, and chocolate brownie might give you a tummy ache? These foods can do a lot worse to your pet. Chicken bones can splinter and cause a perforation in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, and a corn cob could become lodged there, leading to a blockage that would require surgery to repair. Sweets often contain ingredients toxic to pets, like chocolate and xylitol. If you’re cooking out with friends, avoid the emergency veterinary visit by keeping your pup away from the party food, and ensuring guests understand that they should never feed your dog from the table.

Tip #2: Keep your pet calm amidst the booms and bangs of fireworks
To us, they’re pretty. To many pets, however, they’re terrifying. Our furry friends don’t understand what’s happening when the loud noises of fireworks begin, so it’s best to prepare them in advance of the colorful show.

Several weeks before the Fourth of July, begin desensitizing your pet to the sounds of Fireworks by playing audio recordings at a low volume. Slowly increase the volume each day until it sounds similar to the real fireworks show.

Prepare a safe and secure place for your pet to go during the fireworks. It should be an interior room in your home, and you should close all doors, windows, and window treatments. Play calming music in the room, and plug in a pheromone diffuser (Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats). Put your pet’s favorite toys and bedding in the room, and use a long-lasting treat, like a Kong toy with frozen peanut butter inside, as a distraction.

Tip #3: Prevent your pet from becoming lost
Many pets become lost on the Fourth of July. If friends and family will be coming and going from your home or yard, ensure they know to keep doors and gates securely closed so your pet can’t sneak through. And, if you have designated a safe room for your pet, ensure it’s secure so she can’t escape. Sometimes, determined pets are able to escape despite our best efforts. If this happens to your pet, a registered microchip with up-to-date contact information provides the greatest chance of her being reunited with you.

Let freedom ring, and let your pet be safe this Fourth of July. Contact us today with any questions you may have!

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