July 4th is one of the best parts of summer but nothing can ruin it faster than a pet emergency. With backyard grilling, parades, and festivals, it is a fun time for the whole family, including our furry loved ones in the festivities. This can be a great experience, but if you are not prepared, it can spell trouble. Holidays are notorious times for veterinary emergencies. If you wish to include your pet in the celebration, follow these tips to prevent pet emergencies over holidays like 4th of July.

Prevention: Keep It a Fear-Free Day

Most pets, including wildlife, are terrified of loud noises from fireworks, sirens, and thunderclaps. This time of year sees more lost and missing pets due to the chaos and noise of fireworks and parties. Many pets will naturally try to get away by running through an open door, window, or backgate gate when they’re afraid. If they run out, they are susceptible to injury or becoming permanently lost.

To keep a fearful pet safe, find a secure area of the home where they can hang out during the fireworks or gathering. Make sure that guests know not to leave doors and gates open. Use a fan or turn on a radio or television to muffle outside noise. Some pets do well with the Thundershirt, which is a type of compression vest that alleviates stress. There are also calming pheromones. If your fur friend is especially anxious, ask about a temporary medication to help ease their fear. It’s also important that your pet is microchipped. This is the best assurance for a quick return should they become lost.

Prevention: People Foods That Cause Harm

Another factor in why pets end up at animal emergency hospitals on holidays is that they’ve eaten something toxic or unhealthy for them. There are many of our favorite holiday foods that are toxic to animals, including:

  • Alcohol and hops
  • Xylitol found in sugar-free products
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Onions and garlic
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine

There are also many holiday party foods that are fatty or spicy, which can lead to stomach upset and pancreatitis. Cooked bones can become lodged if eaten. Keep your pet away from the grill and cover all trash bins and compost to avoid a pet emergency.

Prevention: Fireworks, Glow Sticks, and Yard Dangers

If you choose to have fireworks this Fourth of July, make sure your pet is away from them. Take caution when lighting fireworks, including sprinklers, which can accidentally burn a curious pet. Glow sticks are another popular celebratory item that some four-leggeds like to chew on. Unfortunately, the chemicals inside these products are toxic. Forgo the glow when you have furry ones.

Remember that citronella products, which are often an essential part of backyard mosquito protection, are also toxic if ingested. Keep these candles, sprays, and other insecticides out of your fur friend’s reach.

Prevent Pet Emergencies This Fourth of July

We hope this overview of what can be dangerous to your pet this holiday empowers you to better protect your pet. There are always plenty of every-day pet emergencies that can occur on a holiday weekend, but we hope our tips help prevent holiday-related trips to the ER. Union Lake Veterinary Hospital staff is here to answer any questions about how to prevent pet emergencies. Please contact us. Happy July 4th from all of us!