On Bipeds & Brutes

National Museum of Animals & Society Blog

An Animal-Friendly Fourth

The New York City fireworks over the East Vill...

Image via Wikipedia

Like us, animals such as dogs and cats, relish their independence and freedom. Help them and your family celebrate a happy, safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend with these helpful tips:

  • Keep animal companions at home. Whether at a community picnic, fireworks display or neighbor’s party, there is plenty to upset animals: food they shouldn’t ingest, frightening sounds and vibrations, crowds, etc. Best to err on the side of caution, and make sure Fido is in a familiar, comfortable place, like home.
  • Speaking of home… to lessen the impact of nerve-racking fireworks, block out sights and sounds from the outdoors by closing the blinds and turning on familiar or soothing background noise such as the TV or music. Make sure your animal has their favorite objects such as a bed and toys accessible. If your dog is the type to prefer sleeping in a crate, use this as a safe place and cover the crate with a blanket to make him or her feel more secure.
  • If you notice that your animal companion is becoming anxious, spend time with them, speak soothingly, and dole out the belly rubs and back scratches.
  • Barbecues are a classic culinary treat on the Fourth, but ensure that your animals avoid scraps from the grill. Changes to an animal’s diet can upset their tummies and make them quite ill. Always avoid toxic foods like onions, avocado, grapes and raisins.
  • And human products, like insect repellent, can also be hazardous to an animal’s health. As for sunscreen, there is doggy-specific brands on the market. Review this list for other common household items and foods that are a no-no for dogs and cats.
  • It’s not uncommon for animals to get scared, escape and run away. Ensure that all your animals not only have up-to-date collars and contact information, but are microchipped as well.
  • Ensure that your pet is protected from the sun and heat. Hot asphalt can burn the pads of their paws. Dehydration is a concern too. Make water always available, use doggy sunscreen, and locate shady spots for Lassie if you plan to be outside.
  • And never, ever use or keep fireworks near your animal companions.

Check these to-do’s off your list and you’ll be sure to have a wonderful, stress-free and healthy weekend celebrating our nation’s independence with your animal companions.

Happy Fourth of July!

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