American Burger and a Glass of BeerFamily, friends, barbeques, sun, heat, and, of course, fireworks, are all essential components for a proper 4th of July weekend for many Americans. Because most of us view our pets as essential family members, it’s only natural that we would want to include them in any and all holiday celebrations.

Unfortunately, many of the activities that make the 4th so special can be downright dangerous for our four legged friends. So before you fire up the grill or head down to the parade this year, take a moment to bone up on our 4th of July pet safety tips.

The Heat Is On

July is typically a warm month here in Michigan, and we understandably want to spend as much time outdoors as possible (trying to forget the Michigan winter, perhaps?) Keep the following tips in mind to protect your pets from heat-related dangers during the holiday weekend, and any other time:

  • Make sure your pet has access to fresh, cool water at all times. Add ice cubes to the water to keep it cool and encourage your pet to drink more. Carry extra water with you whenever you and your pet are out and about.
  • Provide plenty of shade for your pet while outdoors. Consider filling up a kiddie pool or turning on a sprinkler for water-loving dogs to splash in during outdoor playtime.
  • Skin cancer is the second most common form of cancer in pets. Protect your furry friend with a pet-specific sunscreen for days when you know your pet will be in the sun. Give us a call for recommendations.
  • Pay attention to your pet on hot days, bring your pet indoors and give us a call if he or she exhibits any signs of heat related distress, including excessive panting, pale or bright red gums, rapid heart rate, restlessness, disorientation, or vomiting.
  • Never leave a pet inside a parked car, even if the windows are cracked and the car is in the shade. Temperatures can rise to dangerous levels inside a parked vehicle, even on days that seem cool.
  • Bring animals, including outdoor cats, indoors during the hottest part of the day, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m…

Other 4th Of July Pet Safety Tips

Whether you are hosting a gathering, heading out to view the fireworks show, or off to a party, it’s important to keep the safety and comfort of your four-legged friends in mind:

  • Never feed your pet table scraps, and make sure other guests don’t either. Many types of human food are toxic to pets, so you’re better safe than sorry where this is concerned.
  • Alcohol is extremely poisonous for pets. Keep all alcoholic beverages out of your pet’s reach.
  • Some pets suffer from noise-related anxiety around the 4th of July. Review our strategies to make your best pal more comfortable during this stressful time.
  • Because accidents do happen, and pets can easily escape during the commotion of a party, make sure your pet is wearing his or her collar with up to date ID tags at all times. If you haven’t had your pet microchipped yet, consider doing so in advance of the holiday weekend.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Happy 4th of July, from your friends at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates!