American Independence Day is coming up, which means parties, barbecues, camping trips and fireworks will be taking place all around the country. Whether you're planning to be in the middle of it all or will find yourself affected by sheer proximity, it's important to take pets' safety and well-being into consideration.
As a careful pet owner you probably know the drill, but it never hurts to refresh yourself with the basics. Here are our tips for how to take good care of pets throughout the Fourth of July festivities, hazard by hazard.
Loud noises and bright lights are many a pet's worst nightmare, so do your furry pals a favor by keeping them safe at home during fireworks displays and away from backyard sparkler activities. Frightened pets are the ones most likely to find a way to bolt, so be sure they're in a secure room or travel crate if left at home. Also: remember that the remnants of fireworks (paper, fuses, etc.) can be dangerous if ingested, so clean up the yard before letting pets back outside later.
Food for Thought
Yes, it's a holiday, but try not to go overboard when it comes to feeding pets table scraps, and warn guests about leaving their plates where hungry dogs might reach them. Be careful when barbecuing, too. Pups have been known to burn their mouths when snatching up tempting snacks that accidentally fall to the ground straight off the grill.
If you're visiting friends or family for the holiday and bringing your pet along, be sure you've thought of everything you might need. Check that there will be a secure yard and a safe room for your dog to stay in when necessary, and don't forget extra food and ID tags. If your dog has a microchip, double check that your contact info is updated and correct. Finally, if you're traveling and leaving pets at home, let your pet sitter know if your animals needs any special care and attention when things get noisy outside.
Take a look at more Fourth of July pet safety tips from the ASPCA, and have a safe and happy holiday, everyone!
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Editor's Note: This post was originally published in July 2013 and has been updated with new information. Photo by Randy Son of Robert via Flickr