by Patricia Fox
July. The month of fireworks, BBQ’s, volleyball nets, pool parties and water gun fights. But for many families every year, there is a darker side to July.
More pets go missing during the month of July than any other time of the year for a variety of reasons.
The loud sudden crash of a summer thunderstorm or firework display can startle a dog, causing him or her to bolt. Fur parents may be distracted by the revelry, allowing a curious pup to slip away unnoticed. Unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells on a family vacation can keep our four-legged family members in a constant state of overstimulation, making their behavior less predictable.
How to prepare:
- Microchip your dog. In the event that your dog gets out and finds him or herself in a shelter, they will be able to contact you.
- Keep a recent clear photo of your dog. For most of us, this isn’t a problem, just be sure that you have one that clearly shows identifying markings, their size, etc.
- Make sure tags are up to date. It’s easy for this to slip our minds when we move or change our phone numbers.
- Provide a safe and secure place for your dog. Crate training isn’t about confining your dog. It’s about offering a place that is only theirs, where they feel safe and comfortable.
- If you know your dog has issues with thunderstorms and loud noises, you may want to seek the help of a behaviorist.
- Leave your pets at home and inside when possible. Fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can stress your dog. They’ll be happier surrounded by their own smells.
- Sparklers, glow sticks, dirty kabob sticks can easily turn into an emergency trip to the vet if your dog gets a hold of one.
- Keep your dog away from the grill. Grills can hold onto their heat much longer than we think they do.
- Be mindful of sun and water. Some breeds are more susceptible to heat stroke than others and make sure there’s plenty of fresh water at hand.
- Make sure your dog’s collar or harness fits properly and keep him or her on a leash.
- Trash and left over food pose a particular danger to dogs. Cooked bones can break and splinter (especially chicken bones) and become lodged in their throats or digestive tracts, resulting in serious injury or worse. Seeds of peaches, apricots, cherries and plums (among others) contain a substance called amygdalin which breaks down into cyanide, a poison. Be sure to dispose of trash quickly in a covered trash can and keep a close eye on that curious sniffing nose.
If you’re traveling:
- If you’re traveling out of town, check out our tips to ensure vacations with your dog are stress-free.
- Take your yard with you. Designed for portability, Grass to Go keeps your dog safe, close and comfortable no matter where you are, while providing the comfort of real grass.
Celebrations are a wonderful part of life and of course we want to share them with our furbabies too. For their sake, however, let’s share the parts they can enjoy without fear and stress so none of us becomes a sad July statistic.