Tips for keeping pets safe this Fourth of July

HOUSTON – While the Fourth of July is a time of celebration for many, it can also be a stressful day for pets.

The loud, booming sound of fireworks can cause pets to become anxious or even run away.

Houston SPCA’s chief veterinarian Dr. Roberta Westbrook wants pet owners to avoid this from happening with a few simple reminders:

  • Check the chip and ID tag for updated information: Westbrook said now is the perfect time to ensure your pet’s microchip and ID tag information are accurate. Be sure you update your current phone number. The Houston SPCA said it reunites around 300 pets annually with an updated microchip.
  • Leave them with lots of water: Your pet can’t have enough fresh drinking water and plenty of shade if you’re going to be outdoors for a little while. Also, keep alcohol, sunscreen and citronella candles away from canines and felines as they are toxic to pets, SPCA advised.
  • Watch what foods they eat: Dogs want to eat when they smell something good! But foods that can cause obstructions like chicken bones (especially small dogs) and corn on the cob can require costly surgical removal. Chocolate, avocado and alcohol can be toxic to your furry friends, so keep an eye out for them while they’re near the table.
  • Watch while you pop fireworks: Be mindful of your pets when they are running near fire pits, sparklers and fireworks.
  • Not going out? No problem: You’ll want to include your pets in the festivities, but know your pet’s location. If your pet is nervous, they can slip out the door or a gate left open. Consider putting him or her in a kennel or quiet room until all the guests have arrived. If you plan on watching a fireworks display at an outdoor venue, consider keeping your pet safely inside the house.
  • Distract them: SPCA said the best way to help anxious pets get through a night of fireworks is to distract them. Tire them out with active play or an afternoon walk before the festivities. Turn your television or radio on low to help drown out the fireworks and offer special treats or food puzzles to help keep them busy.

About the Author:

Prairie View A&M University graduate with a master’s degree in Digital Media Studies from Sam Houston State. Delta woman. Proud aunt. Lover of the color purple. 💜