This year your pet is hosting their own exclusive July Fourth event. You may be surprised to find that it looks nothing like the typical holiday of barbecue, bottle rockets, and blazing temperatures. In fact, it does not look like a party at all.

For dogs, cats, and other pets, July Fourth is perhaps the most difficult and dangerous day of the year. According to many animal shelters, the day after July Fourth is one of the busiest times for lost and found pets. Sadly, many animals who disappear are permanently lost, injured, or killed. Pets who do not leave the home face other risks unique to our American summer spectacular—noise-related anxiety, heat-related injury, toxin and foreign body ingestion, gastrointestinal issues, and parasites, to name a few.

Your pet, the party planner

Given the risks, we can understand how pets might look for a holiday from the holiday, and also why your pet reached out to All Pets Medical Center to list their special July Fourth requests.

  • Peace and quiet, please — Your pet politely requests that you attend the annual fair and fireworks show alone, and you let them stay at home in a quiet, comfortable room or crate where they can lounge peacefully. Your pet prefers to spend the evening surrounded by familiar toys and bedding. Ideally, you will leave on a television, or stream soft white noise in the background to drown out those frightening fireworks. A filled Kong or food-dispensing toy would be a welcome distraction. Lastly, please draw the curtains or blinds to help to block out the scary flashes of light. 
  • A little help for my anxiety — Have a conversation with the veterinarian if your pet has experienced noise sensitivity (i.e. noise aversion) or severe reactions in the past. A pre-Fourth exam may be necessary. Your pet may need a little extra help in the form of a pharmaceutical or supplement to reduce anxiety. 
  • Keep me safe, rule #1 — If the fireworks are nearby, please secure all windows and doors. Your pet will prefer to be indoors during the show, because good dogs and cats can panic, too. Sturdy fences can be quickly dug under or climbed over when the sky begins to fall, and that kind of athletic event is not on the holiday itinerary.
  • Keep me safe, rule #2 — If you are hosting guests, make everyone aware of your pet’s presence and their designated safe space. Instruct all visitors to respect your pet’s need for peace, and keep doors and gates closed to prevent untimely departures.
  • Deck me out in the proper attire — Your pet may “stay in” on this special occasion, but you must still be ready for anything. This means ensuring your pet wears a well-fitted collar or harness at all times with accurate identification tags. Of course, the best accessory is always a microchip.   

Since the July Fourth festivities extend beyond fireworks, your pet had a few additional great thoughts that you should remember throughout the summer.

  • Baby, it’s hot outside — Summer heat is no fun. Pets can progress through the stages of heatstroke quickly. Watch for early warning signs of heavy panting and restlessness, and move your pet to a cooler location. Your pet loves to hang out with you, but they are best kept indoors on hot days. Exercise in the early morning or late at night, which is safer for you, too.
  • Please watch my diet … — Regarding the menu, please adhere to your pet’s regular diet. While that juicy burger or barbecued bone would not be declined, your pet’s digestive system was not designed for such indulgences. To avoid adding an emergency veterinary visit to your plans, don’t share your plate with your pet.
  • and my drink consumption — Where drinks are concerned, water is preferred, and must be provided in ample supply. The summer heat is dangerous, and hydration is vital throughout the season. Please keep any alcoholic drinks out of reach. Their sweet aroma can be appealing to cats and dogs, but alcohol is toxic to their liver. Out of concern for your own health, your pet graciously offers to share his water bowl with you. Paper umbrellas are available upon request. 
  • Keep me safe, rule #3 — For that summer road trip, please equip your pet with a well-fitted seat belt or a secure crate or carrier. While your driving may be defensive, others may not realize that you are carrying priceless cargo. Please acclimate your pet to the auto safety devices before departing, so they enjoy the ride with maximum comfort. Never leave your pet in the car.
  • Watch for unwanted party crashers — Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are perhaps the most loathed party crashers. Do the polite thing and keep your pet up to date on their parasite preventives. This will keep your pet comfortable and keep away unwelcome parasite guests.

Your pet will thank you

As devoted pet owners, we naturally want to include our beloved companions in everything we do. However, sometimes we fail to recognize and accept that our wants and their needs are not always the same. At All Pets Medical Center, we’re here to help. Contact us so we can help you understand and meet your pet’s needs during the summer festivities.