The holidays give you a great opportunity to relax and enjoy festivities with friends and family members. Unfortunately, they can also pose some fairly serious health and safety hazards for your pets. In this blog, we’ll provide some tips on how to keep your pets happy and healthy during holiday celebrations.
Fourth of July
Independence Day is a fun-filled family occasion, thanks in no small part to those fantastic fireworks. And, as entertaining as they are for us, the sudden barrage of unexpected explosions can be quite alarming for your most vulnerable family members – your pets. Understandably, many fur babies get spooked, leading to a 30-60% increase in lost pets during the festivities and, sadly, only 14% of those actually get reunited with their families.
As such, it’s highly recommended you keep your pets indoors for Fourth of July. Drawing curtains/blinds and putting on the TV or radio loud enough to mask some of the noise will help reassure them. Be sure to provide pets a comfortable place equipped with their favorite toys and blankets – plus anything else to help them feel at ease. If you stay home too, try talking to them, playing with them, and petting them to help appease them.
For some pets, the noise can be terrifying, and this terror can lead to objectionable behaviors such as destroying things in the house, soiling in inappropriate places, hiding for hours at a time, or howling in fear. For these pathological cases, you should consult with your veterinarian to see if there are medications, supplements, pheromones, or devices (e.g. a “Thundershirt”) which might help keep your pet calmer during the fireworks time. There are many different approaches to dealing with pathological fear, so be sure to ask your vet which one she or he feels is most appropriate for your pet.
One important note with respect to fireworks terror in pets – be sure to begin the anxiety preventive treatment one to two hours before the fireworks go off. In all anxiety disorders, the “amp up” time before the noise actually occurs is critical in preventing the objectionable behaviors. Remember, your pet’s hearing is much more sensitive than yours, so your pet is probably hearing many more explosions with greater intensity than you are hearing them.
Human Food Is For Humans
Sure the occasional pet treat here and there is OK (it’s pretty hard to say no to the sad puppy look, after all). But if you have visitors over it can be difficult to keep track of what people are feeding your pets and how much they might have eaten. Things like chicken bones and ribs also pose a choking hazard. The best policy here is to avoid giving your pet people food altogether, be strict with guests who might be tempted to feed them and instead buy pets their own special treats to help celebrate the holidays!
Ensure Your Pet is Identifiable
With such an alarming increase in lost pets during Fourth of July, it’s important to make sure they can easily be identified, should they inadvertently do a runner. Have them microchipped and ensure they’re always wearing a collar and ID tag engraved with your details (name, phone numbers, email address) so that you and your pet will be reunited even faster.
No Alcohol For Pets
Pets can’t metabolize alcohol the same way humans can. In fact the main ingredients for beer and wine (hops and grapes respectively) are toxic for your fur babies and just a small amount of any alcohol can easily poison them. In short, alcohol for pets is never a good idea.
If you’re really keen to share the ‘fun’ with your fur babies, there are a number of companies that manufacture pet-safe beer and wine products. It should be noted that these beverages contain no alcohol, hops or grapes. Though we’d recommend consumption in moderation.
Check The Temperature
This is particularly important during 4th of July celebrations which fall right in the middle of summer. Pets can overheat very easily so it’s important to know the signs of heat stroke and ensure your pet is kept cool and comfortable. Always carry extra water if you’re heading out and about with your pets. If not, it’s probably best to leave them at home or indoors.
VERY IMPORTANT: Remember to NEVER leave ANY animal unattended in your car for ANY reason – even with an open window!!! You’ve seen the videos. Cars heat up very quickly – 70° outside equates to 89° inside a car after just 10 minutes! Several States have now adopted laws enabling Police to rescue any animal trapped in a hot car. Either way, it’s not worth the risk to your pet’s health.
Traveling with pets?
Many people take trips with their pets during the holidays, and why not? Fur babies make great travel buddies but there are some obvious considerations before leaving home. If you’re heading out of State you’ll need a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) showing your pet has recently been examined and declared fit for travel by a licensed vet. Plus you’ll need to pack for all eventualities (enough water, food, toys, poop bags, litter trays, towels, medications, etc.) and be sure that you only visit pet-friendly establishments when dining or staying overnight. For more information, be sure you check out our pet travel page which is loaded with helpful tips on traveling with your pets.
You’re always well prepared with the Activ4Pets health app
Whether you’re staying home, hitting the road, or celebrating with family and friends during the holidays, the Activ4Pets app keeps everything pet-related within easy reach at all times. For instance it stores your pet’s Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), all their veterinary records, microchip number, rabies certificate and much more on your smartphone whenever you might need them.
In the unlikely event that you need to visit an emergency vet, being able to quickly provide your pet’s complete medical history will greatly expedite the care they receive. Having Activ4Pets ensures you’re always well-prepared and provides peace of mind so you can enjoy the holidays without any extra worries. Activ4Pets membership starts at just $24 per year and covers up to 4 animals with a digital pet health record.