The 4th of July is a favorite human holiday, characterized by friends, family, food, and, fireworks! A great boom heralds dazzling explosions of light as barbequed treats sizzle on the grill. The whole scene is a sensory delight, and naturally many well-intentioned pet parents wish to share the day with the four-legged members of their families. But while summer holidays are pure fun for humans, the sights, sounds, and spectacle can be confusing or frightening to our pets whose lacking knowledge of American history leaves them a bit out of the loop concerning this particular celebration. Holidays aren’t for every pet on the block, but Wendy and Baby Hope are seasoned experts on navigating the great big human world from a pup’s-eye view. They have just the right recipe for balancing the Fourth of July fun with comfort and safety for your patriotic pets!
1. When it Comes to Pets, Fireworks Just Don’t Work!
• Unexplained explosions aren’t fun for anyone! Your doggie date is not likely to understand the fun of fireworks. The summer-time sound of sparkling lights popping in the sky may be a relaxing to us, but it will sound like a hostile invasion from all fours.
2. Make your Home as Soothing as Possible for a Lonely Pet
• If you take our advice and leave your pup at your pad, don’t forget to account for scary sounds and looming loneliness. Your dog loves nothing more than your company, so while you’re out partying for independence, leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep him. And make sure that there’s nothing prone to doggie destruction within reach of your pet in case they get frightened or frustrated and decide to act out.
3. Know Your Dog; Know Your Vet!
• If you know that your furry friend is prone to panic be sure to consult with your vet before the holidays to discuss methods or medications can alleviate their anxiety.
• NEVER leave your pet chained, and during the summer holidays even a fenced in yard won’t cut it! If you can hear the festivities from your yard, then it is not the place for your pet. A scared pet is exponentially more likely to escape, or get entangled in their leash or chain. Leaving your pet unattended is taking an unnecessary risk with their lives.
5. Bling out your pet!
• Make sure that your best friend is properly outfitted with tags that clearly designate your pets name, address, and phone number! If lost, a pet wearing proper identification tags has a tremendously greater chance of being reunited with their family than a less effectively outfitted pooch.
• If you find any unidentified pets at-large in your neighborhood be sure to bring them to your local shelter, where they are most likely to be returned to their proper home.
6. Send Fleas & Ticks Away With ADAMS
The hot summer encourages these pesky bugs! Please make sure your pets are protected!
7. BBQ No No’s!
a. Onions/Garlic: Definitely hold off on this veggie and herb (Lucky might shed a tear over the entire concept)! Onions and garlic would not just give Lucky bad breath, but on burgers, hot dogs, or kabobs, are toxic to both dogs and cats and can cause Heinz (not talking the ketchup condiment here) body anemia.
b. Tomatoes: A big – No! This veggie contains Atropine that causes dilated pupils, tremors and an irregular heartbeat. The highest concentration of atropine is found in the leaves and stems of tomato plants.
c. Chocolate: This might be truly my one scrumptious weakness but this treat is <em>not</em> a dog’s best friend. Chocolate contains Theobromine, a stimulant found in the cocoa bean that is harmful to your dog and causes unpleasant, and dangerous, side effects.
d. Salt: Hold off on the salt and spice! Giving your dog too many salty snacks (i.e.: potato chips or pickles) can lead to some dogs drinking too much water. Over-drinking can lead a to a dangerous, and sometimes fatal, condition called bloat in which the dog’s stomach gets too full and can twist or rupture. So hold off on the snacks and keep an eye on how much your mutt drinks throughout the day.
e. Macadamia Nuts: You’d be nutty to slip your dog a nut or two! Aloha, Macadamia nuts have been known to cause muscular weakness, tremors, bladder stones, and severe illness in dogs. In fact, most nuts are a no-go for dogs so best to keep all types away from your pup.
f. Grapes: Healthy for you, highly dangerous for your pup! This innocent snack, believe it or not, can lead to kidney failure in your pet!
g. Sweeteners/Sugar: Don’t give into your dog’s sweet tooth, because sugar can release insulin and lead to liver failure!
h. BBQ Chicken: Avoid giving your dog bones of any kind, because if eaten they can splinter and harm a pet’s internal organs! When you just can’t help but give in, simply pull the meat off the bone and only give a small amount at a time!
i. Keep the alcohol away from your dog! Though a Bloodhound Mary or a Dachshund Daiquiri might sound nice, alcohol and dogs do not mix! This seems like an obvious summer “BBQ Don’t”, but I have caught Baby trying to sneak a sip poolside! Keep your drinks above paws’ reach, no need to see exactly how much trouble your stumbling pup might find. Not to mention the severe health risks associated with alcohol consumption in animals.
Ensuring your pup avoids foods such as the above-mentioned will help you enjoy fun, safe, and satiating summer holidays with the entire family!
Enjoy your 4th of July, and please remember to take a patriotic moment to give thanks for living in this great country … and all the servicemen, women and military dogs that have fallen so we can enjoy our freedoms!