6 tips to keep pets safe during summer celebrations

Summer parties are a lot of fun for us, but not so much for our 4-legged furry friends. Unfamiliar people, fireworks and loud music can really stress an animal. This can result in stomach upset, scratching, shedding, growling, restlessness and more.

It’s best to keep your pet indoors. If that isn’t possible, veterinarian Dr. Jill Elliot, D.V.M., who practices both in New York and New Jersey,  and is co-author of the book, Whole Health for Happy Dogs, always tells her clients to avoid strong sunlight, prevent heat stroke and provide lots of drinking water.

Watch for signs of anxiety; it’s a big clue when a pet avoids eye contact!

“Even the most timid dog can leap a six-foot fence if he’s spooked by loud noises,” says Dr. Pamela Reid, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center on the organization’s website. If your dog shows signs of distress from boisterous revelers, Dr. Reid suggests giving him a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter. “The persistent licking should calm his nerves,” she says.

Here are 6 summertime tips:

  1. Secure them safely:  Doors are usually open, so set up a special room or other closed space, with water, a few grains of kibble a favorite toy. Use a Portable Pop-up Kennel to keep them contained.
  2. Keep your pet away from unfamiliar people: Rough play, tail pulling and chasing can really annoy a pet, especially if he’s senior. A dog may bite out of fear and nervousness, while a cat may hiss and scratch.
  3. Monitor Diet:  Get a complete list of harmful items from your veterinarian or local ASPCA.  Unfamiliar food can also cause upset stomach, pancreatitis, or add to obesity.  “Watch that they don’t eat a lot of uneaten food, especially bones,” added Dr. Elliot.
  4. Keep the pet away from garbage:  Spoiled food, sharp objects, decorations and other harmful items are recipes for disaster.
  5. Supervise your pet around pools, lakes and ponds:  Contrary to popular belief, not every dog is a good swimmer.  Also, these water sources have chlorine, chemicals and bacteria, so you don’t want them using it to take a drink.
  6. Keep your vet’s contact number on hand for easy access; the last thing you want is to have to look for it during an emergency.