4th of July Safety Tips: Fireworks Are Not a Dog's Best Friendfrom the ASPCA Website
As the country dons its red, white and blue to celebrate Independence Day, nothing says patriotism like a good old-fashioned barbecue with a side of fireworks. But what’s fun for people can often be a downright drag for our furry friends. The ASPCA offers some advice to help you keep your pets singing, “Oh Say Can You See,” all the way to the Fifth.
- Keep your pets on the wagon. Alcohol is potentially poisonous to pets, so place your wine, beer and spirits out of their reach.
- Avoid scraps from the grill. Any change in your pet’s diet can result in stomach upset. Plus, certain foods like onions, avocado, grapes and raisins can be toxic.
- Bugs biting? Avoid lathering your pet with any insect repellent or sunscreen not intended for the four-legged kind.
- Don’t let Spot start the fire. Keep your pet away from matches and lighter fluid, which, if ingested, can be extremely irritating to the stomach, lungs and central nervous system.
As the sun sets on the Fourth, remember that fireworks are not a dog’s best friend. Dr. Pamela Reid, Vice President, ASPCA Animal Behavior Center, recommends that you keep your dog at home, instead of taking him to your neighborhood display. “He’ll be much happier at home listening to classical music,” says Dr. Reid. “Also, be sure to keep him inside, instead of in the backyard, since even the most timid dog can leap a six-foot fence if he’s scared enough.”
If your dog suddenly shows signs of distress from outside noise, “relocate to the basement or another quiet part of the house,” suggests Dr. Reid. “Or try giving him a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter. The persistent licking should calm his nerves.”
If you anticipate that your pet will be scared on the Fourth, talk to your vet. He may prescribe a mild sedative, which should be administered one hour before the festivities begin. Please read our other holiday tips, and have a safe and saucy Fourth of July!