4th of July Animal Safety Tips

At Spud Software it’s no secret that we LOVE animals of all shapes and sizes. While many of our employees enjoy the company of their pets at home it’s also widely encouraged for them to participate in supporting animal conservationist and rescue facilities, such as Lucky Day Animal Rescue, whenever they can.
That’s why,with the upcoming holiday festivities ensuing, it is important for us to make sure that everyone is taking the proper precautions to keep their furry friends safe. Fireworks, cookouts, and travel are great fun for humans, but many animals find our revelries to be frightening and in some situations, it may even become a dangerous experience in more ways than one. Holiday foods can be unhealthy; summer heat and travel can be dangerous; and potentially hazardous debris can end up lying on the ground where pets can eat or play with. Most commonly, however, noisy fireworks and other celebrations can startle animals and cause them to run away. In fact, July 4th sees more missing pets than any other major US holiday. Whether you’re planning your own Independence Day celebration or if you’re traveling to one, it’s important to take these precautions to keep your pets safe during and after your 4th of July festivities.

Preparing in advance:

  • Before the celebrations begin, make sure you give your animal plenty of exercise. For example: if you have a dog then take it on a long walk.
  • Have a recent photo of your pet just in case.
  • Make sure your pets – cats and dogs alike – have identification tags with up-to-date information. If you have horses, you might consider marking a safety (breakaway) halter with your contact information and leaving it on your horse during this stressful time.
  • If your pets aren’t already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost.
  • If your pets are microchipped, make sure your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date.
  • If your pet has historically been anxious on this holiday, or if you have reason to expect potentially harmful reactions, consider behavioral therapy to desensitize your pet and reduce the risk of 
  • problems. Some pets may need medication. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.
  • Make sure the environment is safe and secure. If your neighbors set off fireworks at an unexpected time, is your yard secure enough to keep your pet contained? Are pasture fences secure enough to keep horses or other livestock confined? Evaluate your options, and choose the safest area for your animals; and make improvements if needed to make the area more secure.

Safety during July 4 celebrations:

  • Try to keep them indoors the whole evening but secure your fence in case of needed potty breaks.
  • Make sure that your pet has access to plenty of fresh water.
  • Under your supervision, give your pet its favorite treat during fireworks.
  • Your pet likely has a favorite spot in the house, such as a crate or bed. Be sure they have access to this spot and keep comforting toys or blankets there.
  • If your pet’s anxiety is concerning to you, talk with a vet about calming options for your pet.
  • Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.
  • Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
  • Keep horses and livestock in safely fenced areas and as far from the excitement and noise as possible.
  • If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Placing notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your guests remain vigilant.
  • Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.
  • Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal, and kabob skewers away from curious pets.
  • Don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.
  • Avoid the urge to feed your animals any table scraps or other foods intended for people. Be especially careful to keep them away from these common foods that are actually toxic.
  • Remember that too much sun and heat (and humidity!) can be dangerous to pets. Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot/humid; make sure they have access to shady spots and plenty of water when outdoors; don’t leave them outside for extended periods in hot weather; and know the signs that a pet may be overheating.
  • Never leave your pet in your car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.
  • If you’re travelling out of town for the holiday, consider leaving your pets at home with a pet sitter or boarding them in a kennel. If you need to bring them with you, be sure you know how to keep them safe.
  • Follow safe food handling and hygiene practices to protect your family and guests.
  • Stay home and have fun with your dog! Calm their nerves by spending quality time with them.

After the celebrations:

  • Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.
  • Check your pastures and remove debris to protect horses and livestock.
  • If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.

 At Spud we consider our pets to be part of our family, so we want to be sure everyone’s family is safe this 4th of July. Have a safe and fun holiday with your furry friends this week! If you want to learn more about Lucky Day Animal Rescue and what they do to help rescue injured and unwanted pets visit luckydayanimalrescue.org.