Independence Day in the USA is one of the most exciting days of the year. The weather, outdoors, friends, family, food, and fireworks! And while we humans love our patriotic gatherings, they aren’t the best places for our furry family members. Here are some things to consider this 4th of July.
• Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags. Microchips are the best permanent identification method, and combining the microchip and id tags is the best way to make sure that a lost pet is returned home safely. Make sure your Yorkie can be identified, and if you have any other pets, even indoor-only cats, verify that their microchip information is up-to-date and that their identification tags are securely attached. The 4th of July is a time when a pet can become easily lost – people coming in and out of the house, being around lots of strangers, owner inattention due to many distractions, noise and stress causing pets to look for places to hide, etc. Be prepared in case of the unthinkable by having your Yorkie properly identified.
• Keep dangerous items away from your Yorkie. Independence Day brings a lot of new and “interesting” things around your Yorkie. Keep these things away from your pets and out of their reach. Some examples are: alcoholic drinks, sunscreen, insect repellant, matches, lighter fluid, citronella candles, insect coils, glow jewelry and sticks, and FIREWORKS. Make sure these things are out of your Yorkie’s reach and you can avoid a potentially lethal situation.
• Avoid the temptation to feed your Yorkie food from the grill. Cookouts are great times for us to enjoy all kinds of meaty goodies, but these are NOT for your pets. While they may like the food, it’s not good for them. Any change in your Yorkie’s diet, even a small one, can cause major stomach upset. Also, keep in mind that onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt, and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic. So, avoid giving your Yorkie that little piece of hotdog or spoon of potato salad.
• Never use fireworks around pets. According to the ASPCA: “While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.”
• The best place for your Yorkie is inside your quiet house. While you may be tempted to take your Yorkie with you to a large fireworks display, don’t. A large crowd with loud fireworks is no place for a dog. All of the people and noise can cause a lot of anxiety and the sound can be much more damaging to your Yorkie’s ears. According to Through a Dog’s Ear, “Humans hear frequencies for 20 to 20,000 Hz (how fast a sound wave is traveling – one Hz is one wave cycle per second). The high range for dogs is at least 50,000 Hz. So they are hearing the fireworks significantly louder than we are. No wonder that more dogs escape their yards on July 4th than any other day of the year. The loud booms confuse them and they will do anything to seek safety and comfort.” The best place for your Yorkie to be is in their own home, with the shades drawn, lights dimmed and the tv or music playing quietly. If your Yorkie is crate-trained, you can put him in his crate with a blanket covering it to help create more of a “safe place.”
We hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July!