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  • Alissa Anderson

4th of July Fun with Your Pet, SAFELY


The 4th of July holiday can be incredible fun for people and their pets! Many pets love having their people home with them for the day, and meeting and greeting guests. But did you know that more pets go missing on or around the 4th of July, and that July is actually National Lost Pet Prevention Month in the United States? This blog will discuss some common medical issues to keep in consideration and ways to protect your pets while celebrating this holiday.


PARASITES


Many species of parasites love the heat, and fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are just some of the common parasites active during the summer. Besides the direct harmful effects these critters can have on your pets, they can also secondarily transmit diseases, whose courses can range from mild illness to being fatal. If your pet is not current on their preventative medications, especially heartworm prevention, now is the perfect time to get an appointment with your primary veterinarian to get any necessary diagnostic testing and/or blood work completed and to get your pet started on effective medications.


It is also important to not apply any sunscreens or insect-repellants onto your pet, unless they are specifically pet-labeled. Your primary veterinarian may be able to direct you to safe products if you need more information.


BBQS AND COOKOUTS


If your pets are like mine, they are excellent opportunists when it comes to sneaking off with food scraps or unattended refreshments. You will need to be careful to make sure that any alcoholic beverages are not accessible to your pets. Bones and corn cobs can be dangerous to the gastrointestinal tract, with risks of blockage and/or perforation. Dietary changes and scraps, especially high fat pieces, can also cause gastrointestinal upset including inciting vomiting and diarrhea. Matches, charcoal, and lighter fluid should also be kept away from pet access. If children are playing with glowsticks or sparklers, let them know not to allow pets to be near or to ingest these items. And if you have a pool, make sure your pet does not have any access without supervision.


FIREWORKS


Fireworks can be terrifying for pets, and overstimulating for many senses including vision, smell, hearing, and touch. One reason so many pets get lost around this time is that they often break free of their yard or home in their fear. You should set up a safe, secure (escape-proof), quiet place for your pet to be in well before these festivities start. Physical reassurance can be provided as well through the use of a Thundershirt or similar approved compression shirt. Soothing music can be provided, and dim lighting. If you know your pet is especially stressed this time of year, you can visit with your primary veterinarian about medications to help decrease anxiety.


Microchips are one of the best ways we have to make sure that should our pet get lost, we give them the best chance to be returned home. Make sure your linked info is up to date, or get a microchip placed if your pet does not have one yet. Your pet should have a collar with your phone number on it (you can write it with a permanent marker if your pet loses tags).


AFTER THE HOLIDAY


If you have a cookout or party, it is important to clean up well afterwards so that your pet does not have access to leftover trash or scraps. Similarly, be vigilant on walks in the following days. If there is still fireworks activity in your area, remember to provide your pet security and reassurance.

With preparation and supervision, you and your pet can have a great time celebrating together! I hope this blog was helpful to you : )

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