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Top 10 July 4th Pet Safety Tips for Virginia Beach and Norfolk

Pets 4th July - Photo from bayasaa Flickr Who Let The Dogs Out?
Pet Safety Tips for July 4th

The beginning of summer fun is highlighted annually every 4th of July, but did you know that it is also the number one day for runaway pets in America? Animal shelters across the country report July 5th as their biggest intake day every single year. Why? Fireworks, family and friends, excitement, and poor communication top the reasons, but spooked runaway dogs and cats are the result.

This actually happened to one of our clients!

Cesar, a handsome and mostly-very-brave Rhodesian Ridgeback, was out relieving himself in the backyard when – BOOM – fireworks. Cesar cleared his 6 foot privacy fence in a single bound. Animal control ultimately picked him up and unfortunately the owners did not know for weeks, despite frantically searching for him. They almost lost him as when they finally did locate him, he was in the process of being adopted to another family! Fortunately, they got him back in the end, but to this day, loud noises terrify Cesar and his parents are terrified they’ll lose him again one day. An extra tip: if your pet DOES go missing, go to the animal control in your city and neighboring cities every day. What you think a Rhodesian Ridgeback looks like may differ greatly from the idea of the weary person answering the phone.

How can you keep your pets safe?

Top 10 Summer Pet Safety Tips from PPP

1. Inside time! Keep pets indoors at all times on the holiday, and not just indoors, but away from the doors. Unwary people may not notice your cat or dog just escaped. This goes doubly if you are hosting a party. Do not allow your pets to intermingle with the guests, particularly if alcohol is involved! Gates and un-used rooms are recommended for securing your pets.

2. Hear what? Provide distraction: music and other soothing, normal noises such as tv’s or white noise, leave frozen Kongs for dogs to chew on, or plenty of catnip for the kitties. Additionally, did you know there’s a Prozac for dogs and cats? There is more than one brand too, our clients use various types for their pups and kitties and they do work! Talk with your vet so you’ll have it when you need it.

3. People Sprays! Insect repellent (and sunscreen!) – Just say NO. Deet, the most common ingredient in repellents, can be fatal to a dog or cat. Talk to your vet about safe sunscreens and mosquito deterrents for your pets.

4. ID Please! Ensure you have proper tagging and microchips on all pets, in case they do escape. Have your chip and tag information handy long before you may need it. Take clear pictures of your pets every few months.

5. Drop and gimme 20! Exercise your pets well before the fireworks start! A tired dog or kitty will likely not have the energy to go tearing off somewhere. We pet sitters try to get all evening jobs done with workouts prior to the Scary Noises, and do bed-checks after it’s quiet again.

6. Sparkly! Keep pets away from all decor, balloons and food. Much of the food present will be toxic to pets or dangerous (think chicken bones and chocolate). Decor can lead to intestinal damage or colon blockages, balloons can burst and frighten pets. Finally, those great glowing bracelets and necklaces can be toxic for dogs and cats if chewed on. Don’t let your kids decorate your pup or kitty!

7. Skeeter Control! Citronella candles can be toxic to pets. If  breathing in a confined space, citronella can cause respiratory illness and if ingested, it can harm a pet’s central nervous system.

8. Heat! Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, burned paw pads, and sunburns are just a few things that can happen to pets exposed to too much sun. Ever heard of a sunburned cat or dog? It happens, a lot more than you’d think.

9. Fire! Skin burns, inhalation burns and irritation to the eyes, nostrils and mouth are all very real concerns around summer bonfires, where people toss just about anything into the flames. Since it will be dark, it’s even harder to see if your dog just got scorched or can’t breath due to a burned throat.

10. Water! Did you know some dogs can’t swim? Does Drunk Uncle Bob know your dog can’t swim? Unless there is plenty of adult (sober) supervision, please be careful with your dogs! And yes, while some cats can swim, it’s important to watch them around water as well.

Bonus Tip: Hire Pawsitively Priceless Pet Sitters if you are going out of town and we’ll provide excellent care of your dogs and cats, paying special attention to the disturbance caused by loud fireworks days, air shows and local festivities. Sign Up Now!


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