How to Keep Your Pets Safe This July 4th Weekend

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Celebrate Safely with Your Pets.
The 4th of July holiday is a happy and celebratory time for us humans. We cook out, set off fireworks (or watch them), spend a lot of time outdoors listening to music, playing games, and eating delicious foods. Of course we want our pets to be with us celebrating, too. Unfortunately, this is one holiday most pets would rather skip—especially when the fireworks begin.

Did You Know?
Every July 4th, more pets are reported missing than any other day of the year. So please make sure your pets are microchipped and wearing their tags in case they get frightened and run. Even if they’re inside, they can slip out of an open door or window fast when they’re scared. It’s also important that the contact information on file with your pet’s microchip company is up-to-date, otherwise shelters will have no way to get in touch. If you don’t know what company you used, there are universal databases for microchip registration such as Petlink.

Items from the SF Online Pharmacy Can Help Calm Your Pet.
Here are a few choices of pheromone collars for your dogs and cats on our SF SPCA Online Pharmacy. We recommend an Adaptil (CEVA) collar or plug in. Adaptil is a pheromone that helps dogs relax, and can be used a few days in advance. Or consider an over-the-counter medication, like Solliquin for dogs and cats.

A Few Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe and Calm.

  • Avoid fireworks completely at your house. Loud noises can be traumatic and scary for most pets. Fireworks in general are dangerous for dogs and cats. The burning embers can get stuck on their paws. And many home fireworks contain dangerous substances like potassium nitrate, arsenic, and other heavy metals.
  • If you can’t avoid the noise of fireworks, put your pet into a comfortable, “safe” room and play soothing music to calm them. An example of music you can play is a music therapy soundtrack called “Through a Dog’s Ear.”
  • Use food-dispensing toys, like a Kong toy, to distract from all the commotion.
  • Interact and play with your pet during the fireworks to keep them from focusing on the sounds. But if that does not work, they may need medication.
  • Don’t coerce your dog into scary situations. Just because you are there with your pet does not mean your pet won’t be scared. And please don’t punish them for their natural aversion to the noise and confusion.
  • Keep pets away from citronella candles, insect coils and sprays, and tiki torch oil products. These fumes, if inhaled, are toxic for an animal. And please don’t ever put insect repellent on your pet.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets or allow them to play with it. Dogs can chew through a glow stick or necklace in seconds and the contents are toxic. Not to mention they could choke on the plastic pieces.
  • Keep plenty of fresh water available for pets to avoid heat stroke.
  • Don’t feed your pet human food such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, alcoholic beverages, salt, or yeast dough—these are toxic. Also remind any guests to not feed your pup or cat, and if food drops to the ground, pick it up immediately.
  • Get professional help. If your pet’s fear is an ongoing issue, (panting, licking lips, whining, drooling, shaking, yawning, hiding, and not accepting a treat), contact the SF SPCA’s Behavior Specialty Services. We have the largest and most qualified behavior resource center in the Bay Area. Our specialists can help your pet if they suffer from behaviors like aggressiveness, severe fear or other abnormal and ongoing reactions to everyday events or environments.

 

Our Emergency Services Are Available Over the July 4th Weekend.
If you need any emergency services during the holiday, know that our Pacific Heights Campus is open 7am to 10pm and our Mission Campus is open 8am to 5pm. Both can be reached at 415-554-3030. We recommend storing this number in your cell phone.

We hope you have a fun July 4th holiday with your pet’s safety in mind. After all, they’re our pets and they trust us to keep them out of harm’s way.

Please consider becoming a recurring donor to help us continue to serve animals in need? As little as $10 a month goes a long way to covering the cost of medical care and sheltering of animals in need especially during the current COVID-19 shutdown.

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