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DOG / fun & fashion

Fourth of July: You Love it Pets Hate it

Fourth of July celebrations can be stressful for pets. Dogs are often afraid of fireworks and your backyard BBQ has tempting but inappropriate foods.

To commemorate our independence, barbeques, friends and fireworks are always a must. But, if your bestie is of the four-legged kind, a peaceful Fourth of July includes none of the above. According to Pet Amber Alert, there's a 30-60 percent increase in lost pets in the U.S. on July 4th, and July 5th is one of the busiest days at animal shelters. We’re sure our furry friends are bursting with patriotism on the inside, but if they seem panicked on the outside, consider how traditional holiday celebrations may affect your pets.

Savory Barbeque

  • Your Perspective: The more the merrier! A house packed with friends and family is the best way to celebrate the Fourth of July. Plus, hosting a party at home means you can include your pets too. They’ll enjoy the extra attention from guests.
  • Their Perspective: As the room fills with partygoers, your pets scurry to dodge people stomping on their tiny feet. Music and conversation (not to mention inebriated guests) add to the chaotic environment creating anxiety, uncertainty and confusion.
  • Signs of Distress: Pacing and panting may be mistaken for excitement and joy but it’s likely a sign of stress. As guests enter and exit your home, your pets may take the opportunity to escape from the craziness.

Afternoon Gathering

  • Your Perspective: Plenty of All-American grilled goodies, sweet treats and cold beverages are on the menu. With so many meaty treats, you might consider treating Fido to a snack or two.
  • Their Perspective: Your pup is by your side waiting for a morsel to fall while you grill. Meanwhile, well-meaning guests can’t help but give into Fido’s begging ways—resulting in overeating and increased chances of eating toxic foods.
  • Signs of Distress: Vomiting and diarrhea are common reactions to ingesting toxic foods like meat bones, onions, avocado and grapes commonly served at Fourth of July feasts. Lethargy can be a sign of indigestion from overeating.

Evening Fireworks

  • Your Perspective: You head to the park for the local fireworks show. Since it’s outdoors and the weather is right, why leave your pooch at home?
  • Their Perspective: The crowd ooh’s and ahh’s after every explosion, but your pet only hears loud, threatening noises. The flashes and burning smell of pyrotechnics add fear and panic.
  • Signs of Distress: Pets have keen hearing that make them more sensitive to the sounds of fireworks. Typical stress signals include heavy panting, trembling, hiding, and drooling.