ava dog 4th julyThe Fourth of July is almost here! As we celebrate our independence with family, friends, cookouts and fireworks, it's important to think about our pets' safety. Fourth of July festivities can be very stressful for pets, especially the noisy fireworks, and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) wants to share some tips to help keep our pets - and us - stress-free over the holiday!

Top 10 Tips to Keep Pets Safe this Fourth of July:
  1. Stay inside. Keep pets indoors and far away from the noise. Having some background noise can be helpful too!
  2. Know your pet's stressors. If you already know that your pet is stressed by loud noises, consider having your veterinarian prescribe appropriate anti-anxiety medication.
  3. Avoid fireworks. Keep pets far away from exploding fireworks. Even though many pets don't have a fear of the noise initially, they can develop it over time. Pets that are near fireworks when they go off may also become spooked and run away.
  4. Have your pet properly identified. Make sure your pet has accurate ID tags in case your pet is scared by the noise and runs away. It is also helpful to have a recent photo of your pet to make lost posters. For a more permanent solution, consider microchipping your pet.
  5. Make sure your pet is calm. Keep your pet in a cool location with fresh, clean drinking water. This will help keep your pet relaxed.
  6. Consider isolating your pet if he or she doesn't like company. Extra people around the house can be stressful for pets, so keeping your pet away from the festivities will help your guests enjoy the party and your pet enjoy some much-deserved quiet time.
  7. Don't give your pet "people food." It may seem harmless, but many human foods are toxic to pets, including onions, grapes & raisins, avocados and chocolate.
  8. Keep your pet away from plastic cups, containers and glow jewelry. Pets can hurt themselves on plastic if they chew it, and they could also develop gastrointestinal irritation if they swallow plastic.* 
  9. Leave your pet at home if you go to a fireworks show. Pets may be allowed at the venue, but being that close to fireworks could be stressful for your pet. Let your pet stay where it feels safe, comfortable and relaxed.
  10. Keep matches, lighter fluid and Citronella away from your pet. These products can cause irritation to your pets if ingested, inhaled or touched.* 

Be a responsible pet parent and help your pet have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July by following these guidelines! The AVMA has been making sure our pets get the best care for over 150 years, and has more great info about keeping our pets happy and healthy at http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/fourth-july-safety-tips