Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue
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Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue

Happy 4th of July.....for our dogs too

by User Not Found | Jul 02, 2013

On July 5th, a small Boston Terrier showed up at the vet’s office where I worked with loss of hearing, what looked like road rash on his face and damage to his eye.  This little guy had given chase to something thrown by his owner, for all he knew it was a toy.  Unfortunately, it was an M80 firecracker.  Sadly, this is not the first or the last time this will happen.  And July 5th happens to be the busiest day of the year for shelters, not to mention the weeks that follow.   More dogs go missing this time of year than any other when their flight response kicks in at the sound of loud booms coming from 4th of July celebrations.  The good news is, there are some preventative measures you can take to keep your pup safe and keep your holiday stress-free.

  1. Make sure your dog has at least two forms of identification AND that they are up to date!  No they aren’t applying for a driver’s license but pets with ID have a much greater chance of being returned to their owners and much more quickly!  Also make sure that your phone number and address are updated on the tag and for your dog’s microchip, if they have one.  You probably won’t hear about your missing dog if someone is trying to reach you on a disconnected number.
  1. Don’t assume your dog won’t react.  Some dogs develop sensitivities later in life, even though they have not had problems in the past.
  1. Keep your pet indoors in the quietest room of your home.  Use soothing music or television as a distraction.  For some dogs, it’s better to use a crate in a darkened quiet room, but pay attention to them, some dogs are more scared if they are alone and may just want to be near you.
  1. If your dog is lost, check in person at all local shelters and check again and again.  It may take some time before they end up there especially if they have been spooked.
  1. Have a current photo of your dog, just in case.

If you are having your own festivities:

  1. Exercise your dog in the morning, before the festivities begin.
  1. Keep your dog away from fireworks, sparklers, etc.  Better yet, just leave them at home with a frozen treat instead.  Loud, crowded firework displays are no fun for pets, so resist the urge to take them with you.
  1. During cookouts, keep treats handy for those that insist on feeding your pup.  Keep your dog on their normal diet to prevent GI problems.
  1. Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can get them, they have the potential to poison.  Also, lighter fluid and matches have the potential to cause severe damage so keep them up and away from where pets can’t reach them.
  1. Do not use bug spray or sunscreen on your dog that is not specifically labeled for animal use.  Ingestion or even inhalation of these can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.  Insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  1. And last but certainly not least, be mindful of the HEAT.  Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water and shade and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion, like panting excessively.  And PLEASE don’t leave them in a hot car.

You know what happens to you when you get stressed out, so remember that your pets can and will become stressed too.  They experience the world thru their eyes, nose and ears and fireworks just aren’t something they are accustomed to.

Happy Fourth!  Hope it’s safe and fun!



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