Holiday Weekend Hints: Enjoying Fourth of July with Your Pets

Fourth of July is a great time to celebrate with friends and family members, both human and four-legged. While the three-day weekend is relaxing for most, the fireworks and food can make it a stressful holiday for both pet owners and their pets. Here are some tips to help keep the holiday fun going without stressing your pet. 

Keep the Begging Out of the Barbecue

Holiday barbecues are all about food and drinks that your pets will want but simply can’t have. Be sure these treats aren’t on the menu for cats and dogs:
  • Alcohol: Keep your pint out of reach from your pets. Alcohol is a common part of barbecue festivities but it can be highly toxic for dogs and cats. Symptoms of alcohol ingestion in pets include weakness, difficulty breathing and even coma.
  • Bones + Corncobs: Leftover rib bones or corncobs can seem like fun toys for the dog, but they’re actually quite harmful. Bones and corncobs can get lodged in the digestive tract or trachea and can put your pet down for the count. 
  • Dessert:  Desserts often include chocolate, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, or even xylitol (an ingredient in some sugar-free baked goods and candy). Offering these foods to cats and dogs can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, seizures or even death.  
Minimizing Summertime Stress

Remember that your version of relaxing might be stressful to your pet. Here are some ways you can make sure your pet is enjoying the day as much as you are:
  • Keep Them Cool: Fourth of July is the middle of summer and can be extremely hot. If your pet is going to be out and about with you, make sure they have a fresh supply of water and a cool place to lie down. Some breeds with pink skin or light colored coats are prone to sunburn, so pick up a pet-friendly sunscreen, just in case. 
  • Skip the Fireworks: The sudden loud noises and excitement can make dogs and cats anxious, so don’t bring them to a fireworks show or shoot off the smaller fireworks in your backyard. 
  • Give Them a Safe Space: Having a lot of people around can be overwhelming for some pets, so having their own safe space where they can retreat to if they get stressed is helpful. 
Visit Your Vet

Before you dive headfirst into the holiday weekend, check with your veterinarian to see if your cat or dog has any underlying sensitivities that you need to consider. This is especially important for pets with sensitive skin or a nervous disposition. If your pet becomes overheated, injured or ingests one of the ingredients mentioned above, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

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