It’s a big weekend. A big, big weekend here in North America. To all my Canadian friends- Happy Canada Day! And to my American partners in crime, I hope you’re getting the barbecues cleaned off and ready to roll!

07.04.09 Fourth of July Celebration

The Fourth of July is the number one day for pets to run off. Number one. So while you are busy perfecting your burger recipe and figuring out how many ears of corn you need for Monday, take just a moment to do a couple of things to keep your pet safe:

1. Make sure your pet’s microchip information is up to date, as well as their ID tags. I can’t count how many times that a good samaritan brings a found microchipped pet to the clinic but the contact info has expired, or their tags have a disconnected phone number. It’s horrible.

2. Review your food plan for the day. I have to do this every time we have a party. Corn cobs are notorious for causing foreign body obstructions, steak fat can lead to a nasty pancreatitis, and don’t even get me started on those shish kebab skewers. If you’re going to have the good stuff- and I don’t blame you- make sure your guests have no option but to use the covered trash cans. This goes for the booze bottles too- there’s fewer things sadder than a drunk dog with no clue why he can’t stand up straight.

If you have one of those Annoying Uncle Bufords who insists on feeding your dog fatty people food despite your asking him not to, you have my permission to lie and create a yarn regarding life-threatening food allergies, and ominously threaten him with the vet bill. Better yet, come up with a pre-emptive strike by having festive dog-appropriate treats on hand for him to give instead.

3. Address the fireworks issue. If you know the sound of fireworks makes your pet nervous, there’s still time to come up with a game plan. Dr. Crosby has a great roundup of posts at About Vet Med covering everything from noise phobia and sedatives to DAP collars and Thundershirts.

Got a good tip for the holiday weekend? Share it below!

Photo Credit:  Fourth of July Celebration by MarkelConnors, on Flickr

Filed: Daily Life Tagged:
  • Tamara

    Great tips, Dr. V, and all delivered with a dose of humor…so I hope people will take them to heart 🙂

  • Megan

    Ah, the 4th of July… My very first ER overnight was on the 4th of July. I successfully diagnosed and treated an addisonian crisis, couple of garbage guts, and a really, really, REALLY sad case of a dog getting away from her owner, suffering massive heat exhaustion that went unnoticed by the owner when she first got her back, that then progressed to massive organ failure by the time she was brought to me and ultimately death. So yes, people, PLEASE keep an eye on your dogs this weekend! I’ve seen what can happen when you don’t 🙁

  • Hi Y’all!

    Hope y’all have a great fourth!

    Fireworks started here Friday night.

    A couple years ago, hours before dark, a niece was visiting friends. Her Blue Healer was with her. Some neighbor kids set off a firecracker that startled the dog and he took off into the woods. Guess he preferred to face the wild pigs, coyotes, bears and bobcats than kids with fireworks. This happened miles and miles from any town where there would be a fireworks display.

    Eventually, several days later, the dog came back. He was filthy and had lost a good deal of weight. Our niece was was lucky.

    Point is, whether you’re in a state like here where fireworks are legal and you know all the neighbors will have big display, or you live far out in the country, protect your dog from unexpected firecrackers, or illegal fireworks. Keep ’em home or on leash if they need to go outside.

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog