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Keeping pets safe during summer holidays

While Memorial Day in May and Independence Day in July might mean backyard barbecues and fireworks for us, those celebrations can bring extreme anxiety or illness for our pets.

Many pets become frightened by the sound of fireworks or loud music — and if they’re frightened enough, they might even run away. According to the ASPCA, the Fourth of July is the single biggest day of the year for pet disappearances.

Pets are also at risk for illness if they consume the wrong food or drink, which can happen easily when lots of people are gathered at your home.

As you prepare yourself and your home for these upcoming get-togethers, be sure to prepare and protect your furry friends too. These tips can help make the celebrations less stressful or risky for pets:

  • Exercise pets during the day. Take dogs on a long walk or run, and play with cats for at least a half-hour at a time. When pets are tired, they’re more likely to sleep or relax through the festivities.
  • Keep dogs and cats indoors. If your dog needs to go outside for a bathroom break, keep them close on a leash, and make sure their collar is fitted correctly to minimize the chance of escape if they startle. It is best to not let your cats out at all.
  • Make them comfortable. Keep dogs and cats out of the main gathering area of your home, if you have many visitors. Keep them in a familiar, cozy area, like a bedroom, with food, water, toys and bedding. Try playing soothing music in the room to drown out the sound of fireworks. If you have both dogs and cats, you might want to separate them in different rooms.
  • Talk to your guests. Make sure your guests know to not feed your pets table food or drinks. This might seem self-explanatory, but some people aren’t aware of the dangers of this behavior.

More tips: Advice from the ASPCA

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435