The veterinarians & staff at our Danielson, CT veterinary hospital are excited to celebrate 4th of July with cookouts & other get-togethers. We are willing to bet you are, too. However, there are important steps to take to make sure your dog enjoys Independence Day cookouts as much as you do.
1.) Good ID is Key!
According to PetFinder.com, more dogs go missing on the 4th of July than any other day. Cookouts allow dogs the freedom to roam, and fireworks can spook them. Leaving your pet safely at home or keeping social dogs on a leash are easy fixes. Preparation is still important, though.
Take these steps to make sure your dog will make it home to you:
- Get your dog microchipped. A microchip is a easy and safe option for permanent identification. If your dog isn’t already chipped, make an appointment with us to have one implanted. Pooch already chipped? Make sure your contact information the microchip company has on file is up-to-date.
- Try a personalized collar. A collar with identification tags is great, but sometimes the tags fall off. For that reason, both of Dr. Lambert’s golden retrievers wear these LL Bean collars, personalized with their contact information.
- Register your dog on the Finding Rover app. Finding Rover is an app that uses facial recognition software to get missing dogs home. It’s free – just download the app for iPhone or Android. Once it’s on your phone, you’ll be able to set up an account with your dog’s picture.
2.) Beware of Alcohol & Food Changes
During cookouts, dogs love sneaking as many treats as possible. However, an abrupt change in diet can cause a very upset stomach. Not only that, but some cookout staples, like alcohol and chocolate, have the potential to poison pets.
Be sure to keep alcoholic drinks covered and chocolaty desserts out of pets’ reach. Remember that high-fat foods, like the avocado in guacamole, are not safe for dogs. They can cause stomach upset and other potential issues.
If your dog is getting some special treats, keep them limited and ensure that all meat is cooked to temperature. Raw meat is unsafe for dogs and humans alike! Don’t give dogs bones or fat trimmings.
3.) Only Use Pet-Safe & Vet-Approved Bug Sprays
In the Danielson, CT area, we deal with a high volume of ticks, mosquitoes & other bugs during the summer season. Only use vet-approved insect repellents on dogs. Many over-the-counter repellents can prove to be VERY unsafe. K9 Advantix II, a product Dr. David J. Lambert recommends, repels mosquitoes & biting flies, in addition to preventing fleas & ticks. If you’re out of Advantix, you can order a refill from us online.
4.) Avoid Fireworks & Crowds
Loud noises and large groups of people are not enjoyable for most dogs. For their safety, keep pets away from fireworks. If your pet is especially nervous about fireworks, there are several options. Play calming music in your home, leave your pet with a “high value” treat and have them wear an anti-anxiety Thunder Shirt.
If those options still leave your dog feeling anxious, please contact our hospital online or by calling 860-774-7650. Some pets require prescription medications to cope with fireworks, and Dr. Lambert will be happy to discuss that with you.
5.) Keep Dogs away from Glowsticks & Citronella Candles
Glowsticks and citronella candles are among the potentially toxic items that are at many 4th of July cookouts. Do not allow pets to wear or play with glowsticks, as their sharp teeth may be able to puncture them. Keep repellents, like citronella candles, out of their reach. If your dog does ingest a potentially toxic substance, contact the Pet Poison Hotline immediately at 800-213-6680. (A fee does apply, but their expert opinion will be critical to the veterinarian who cares for your pet.)
If your pet does have an emergency, Quinebaug Valley Veterinary Hospital recommends the following emergency clinics:
- Pieper Memorial VETS (Oakdale, CT) – (860) 443-7387
- Ocean State Veterinary Specialists (E. Greenwich, RI) (401) 886-6787
- The Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Tufts University (Grafton, MA) – (508) 839-5395
Dr. Lambert is available for emergencies during limited hours throughout the holiday. You can always call our number, 860-774-7650, first. Our answering service will be happy to connect you with Dr. Lambert, or one of the emergency hospitals listed above.
We wish you a happy and safe 4th of July holiday with your dog. Hopefully, with these tips, you be having any emergencies.